A Refuge from the Storm
In my book The Inner Guru, I relate a story about an encounter with the late evangelist and faith healer Kathryn Kuhlman. This occurred in Columbus, Ohio, when I was a young man in my mid-twenties. During that period, I was questioning many things, and religion was one of them. At the time of my encounter, I lived in Dayton, Ohio, when I learned that a famous faith healer was going to be in Columbus for a revival. Something caused me to decide that I needed to attend the revival. I was raised as a Roman Catholic, and I had not been active in a church in several years. And as a Catholic, I had no experience with faith healers.
My academic background was science, and I had serious doubts about faith healing. However, I felt prompted to drive to Columbus to see firsthand what transpired during Ms. Kuhlman’s revival and healing service. I believed that it might simply be a show designed to separate the gullible from their money, but I tried to keep an open mind.
Kathryn Kuhlman had a signature way of ending her healing service. She would ask people to come to the stage, and she would greet each person, say a brief prayer, and touch the person on the head. The person collapsed into the arms of two men operating as catchers, who gently laid the person on the stage. For reasons I don’t want to elaborate on here, but are explained in my book, I found myself as one of the people on the stage staring out at thousands of other people. I was hot and uncomfortable, and did not believe anything was happening other than a show. I thought that she was going to be embarrassed when I failed to collapse like the others.
My turn came, she said her brief prayer, and touched me on the forehead. I suddenly felt all of the stress and tensions evaporate from my body. I felt like every fear or concern built up over years was gone, and a feeling of total peace and joy pervaded my being. I recall that a curtain of light moved horizontally across my vision, as if someone or something was opening a curtain.
I lay on the stage in front of an enormous crowd, but I didn’t care. I felt fantastic, and although my normal inclination was to never be in such a situation, at that moment had no concern that I was on display.
My encounter with Kathryn Kuhlman was the first time I experienced what many call the Holy Spirit. I don’t feel the need to give it a name, but I can say a place exists that is free of worry and fear. That place is not far away; it is within us and can be reached by anyone with a pure intent. The turmoil of the external physical world does not touch us there. It is not an escape, but a realization that a greater truth operates in our lives.