I decided long ago never to project my scope of experience (or lack of it) into the life stories of people I write about.
Some individuals have seen angels; some have heard God’s voice. Many have experienced “beyond-natural” rescues and healings. Some aver that lifelong addictions vanished in seconds, leading them to Christ.
Their stories are precious to them—every nuance, every memory. If they say that they felt God’s presence, I describe their sensations at the time. If they tell about a force that removed them from certain death, I do my best to capture the scene. Their experiences with Jesus are treasures they share because they want us to know that God is involved in our lives too.
It is not my job to soften or neutralize the supernatural elements to make their stories sound more acceptable. I trust that their relationship with God is genuine, and write their stories as they remember them.
I too have experienced a supernatural phenomenon and my experience is as real to me as it was for Paul the Apostle or John the Beloved 2000 years ago. I am born again.
I didn’t just change my mind about whether God is real or not, or decide to live according to a new set of rules. “Born again” is a phrase that Jesus uses (in the Bible) to describe his entry into my eternal anatomy (my soul). Jesus has replaced my sweaty, flailing attempts to “make a difference” in this world with his powerful ability and directive to encourage others.
So, when storytellers tearfully describe miracles, I give each one my undivided attention—because my story is a miracle too.
13 When they [Jewish council] saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. 14 But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. 15 So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. 16 “What are we going to do with these men?” they asked. “Everybody living in Jerusalem knows they have done an outstanding miracle, and we cannot deny it…”