The Golden Light Globe Experience
This event happened 31 years after the White Globe, when I
was 46. I was at a Billy Graham crusade in Minneapolis,
MN, in June 1996. This was his first, and I figured almost
certainly his last,
crusade in Minnesota. This is where he began his ministry, following attendance at a
small seminary here and it was still at that time headquarters
for his organization, though he did not live
in Minnesota. That was why I was there, for the "event". I'd
of his crusades on television and certainly knew who he was, and since
he was then 77, I knew this would probably be the only chance I'd ever
have to see him in person. I didn't believe the particular
of fire and brimstone that he preached at all, but I was
at that time
spiritual turmoil, for a variety of reasons which I'll detail in
the "little more about gene" story that follows this one, but
was there for the experience of seeing
in person. I also wanted to se Amy Grant, who was the featured
that crusade, :^).
I said I was in spiritual turmoil then and I meant
I'll talk more about that in the story which follows
one in the index. This story needs some context though, ao I need to say a little about that
out of work, unsure of what my future held, in a state of major anxiety about
that future. And I was desperately afraid for my youngest son, Brandon,
was then 20 and driving me crazy with his behavior. I know now that was because
he was deeply lost in a horrible drug called crystal meth.
It turned out I had good reason to be
worried; he committed
suicide 8 months later, just over a month past his
birthday, I'll talk more about that in the next story and in the
following section entitled Conversations With God which is about the
first two books in that series by Neale Donald Walsch and how they,
particularly Book 1, saved my own life, literally, in my opinion.
I was so involved in my own daily drama then that I had no
idea Billy was going to be in Minnesota. I
how I could have been so oblivious because an event of that size had to
have been a year, or longer, in the planning, but I actually
out about on its first day by seeing an article in
Star Tribune about it. When I read the article, I had the
STRONGEST urge to go. I didn't have much money, but it was
except for the parking. I knew I didn't believe what
taught, because as I said, I'd seen some of his television
appearances and also because as I was raised I was taken to what were then called tent
meetings when I was a child. In the early 1950's each summer,
a traveling preacher would set up a huge tent near Dalbo, MN,
have evening services, preaching fire and brimstone salvation much like
what Billy did later on a much larger scale.
I was SO anxious then, in mid-June 1996, very prone to panic attacks,
know then that was what they were. I just had this terrible
feeling of something
dreadful coming all the time. I felt I needed a way
find none in the world at large. That anxiety I felt within
me then just
never left me, and I needed a way to calm that horrible fear
ALL I knew then as a possible way to do that, to find
peace, was to return to what I grew up with, the
faith. I knew nothing of ANY other means or method, I only I had
been taught that God promised peace, even though I'd never found a
make that a reality in my life. I'd read the bible from cover
cover by then, more than once, and found more to be afraid of in it than anything to make me
feel calm and safe within and within I was tormented.
I have never been a fan of
Old Testament, too much blood and gore for me. I could never
reconcile the idea of a loving God, telling "His" people to take
another people's land and kill everyone already there, men, women and
That sort of God did not make me feel all warm and fuzzy
inside. But I loved the New Testament, even
though there was much
it with which I disagreed as well, there were many passages that gave me hope for peace within. Jesus said He came to
the "law" with the Truth. I liked that idea. I
Old Testament NEEDED replacing. I still think so. I
the four Gospels, but my favorite has always been Luke, to me it was
the softest and most loving look at the life Jesus led here 2000 years
ago. I loved the writings of Paul, though there was much to
disagree with there as well, particularly his view of women, but on the whole, he wrote about love.
Love is the only thing that I thought could save me, that I
thought could drive out the horrible anxiety that was so controlling my
life then. If I could only find a way to make that a "living" part of my life.
I didn't intend to go to that first show, I resisted that urge at
the idea of going kept coming back to me. I tried to ignore that
small voice within, but I was SO drawn and so did NOT want to go,
at the same time. I was sort of used to feeling two ways about
something at the same time, that was not uncommon for me, but this urge was stronger than my self-control.
I thought what I'd hear would make worse, not better, the
anxiety. I didn't think I needed to be reminded about going to hell; I
felt I was sort of already living in it, so I really resisted the idea.
right at 5 pm I was lying on my bed and I "heard" a voice within me say,
"go NOW, gene", and I just got up and went, almost feeling I had NO choice, I was SO strongly drawn to go.
You'll hear more about that voice later, in the story about
Jenna, I didn't know her then, but I sure "heard" her voice that afternoon.
went, and it all happened so easily, traffic was light, it was as if a path
had been prepared for me. I figured
the ramp nearest the stadium where the event was to take place would
certainly already be
full, but I drove to it anyway, and found a spot to park immediately.
I walked across the street and arrived, with perfect timing,
as the gates
I wanted to be out of everyone’s way when
come to the floor which I knew was always part of his presentation, so I went all the way up to the top of the stadium
because I had NO intention of participating in any of that nonsense.
I sat through the whole thing, enjoying the music, he'd
things and this wasn't traditional "church" music, it was modernized,
full of energetic youngsters, and Amy Grant was wonderful.
was a good experience, I even enjoyed Billy's sermon, there were
large screens, what we now call jumbotrons, scattered around the
stadium, so big you could
him perfectly, every pore on his face. What I remember most from watching him then, was
eyes, striking, strong, piercing, the eyes of an eagle, to me it felt like looking into the eyes of
God. I was still just observing ONLY, but when
he finally issued his call to come to the floor, I
myself rising, without volition, it
was more like being gently pulled upright; and as I stood another
slightly larger than softball sized globe, this time bright gold with
couldn’t understand, but somehow KNEW were language of some kind,
out of my chest and burst in the
exact spot and manner as did the white globe 31 years earlier.
accompanied by a completely rapturous feeling of awe; just overwhelming love
and peace, as I watched the globe rise
and burst. The feeling in those moments was again
mesmerizing. But what it was most strongly was complete, utter
love and peace.
I mean it
the essence of perfect love within AND without, it surrounded me, I
felt safe and peaceful within for the first time in months, my pervasive anxiety was completely gone. It
was the antithesis of what was in me when I got
for those few blessed moments, I knew NO fear. I was in the safest, most loving
presence I had ever experienced. I KNEW that was what "home"
like. It was the SAME feeling, I felt in the presence of the
white globe 31 years earlier. Again, no one else, not one
saw what I did. Believe me if they had, THAT story would have
been in the paper the next day.
I went back to each of the
services, once bringing my oldest son, Evan, with me, to Youth night, hoping to again see that globe, but it never came again.
It was 13 years since that day this past June, 2009.