August 2001


When I looked up, God was there.

By Paula Allen

I would like to share a short poem that I wrote when I first accepted the Lord into my life. I have been a Christian for 25 years now, and everyday I thank God for the grace that He has brought into my life.

I did not grow up in a Christian home, as some others that I know have. And Jesus' name was not much of a household name. I grew up with a Jewish background, and it was an atheistic one at that.

When I was young, I had asked my mother who Jesus was. I wanted to know if He was the Son of God and if He had gotten up from the dead. She said that He was just another prophet, and that His disciples stole his body from the grave overnight. He did not get up from the dead. I did not know if I should believe this or not, but I had great reservations. I rejoiced when, after I was saved, I read in Matthew how this was the very same story that the Jews told in Jesus' day, and I marvel that it continues to this day.

During my teenage years, I went to the synagogue with my best friend. The services were long, from 8 to 12 noon every Saturday. I joined the choir, which involved even more time. One day as I was sitting in service, I turned and looked around at the people who were there. The Rabbi was speaking. Those in the congregation looked almost lifeless, their faces lacking expression. I thought to myself that surely if God were here, they would be feeling his presence and looking differently than they were. We would be praising Him or showing some sort of feeling towards Him. I didn't feel or sense anything of God's presence there either. I attended the synagogue for another year, then stopped going.

Life went on, as it does, and, as usual for someone without the Lord in their life, I found my share of life's difficulties. I was in my mid-twenties when I was introduced to an Eastern-style religion. It held out the promises of peace and everlasting life. I quickly embraced it, and within a short period of time, I sold whatever I could of my belongings. What I didn't sell, I gave away or just left behind. I severed ties with my family and friends and I moved to a commune that practiced Eastern religion. I had many "spiritual experiences" there, but, none of them were from God. In time, I felt that someday I would probably move on, but I could not see any future for myself. I had nowhere else to go and I began practicing the meditations even more intensely.

I was living on the commune for about a year, when some Christian truckers from Canada who had heard about us started visiting. They were welcomed and, within a few weeks, some of the people on the commune got saved. I was not one of them - yet. At that point, I had been keeping pretty much to myself. One day, someone said just a few words to me, "You don't have to be like you are." I knew how I was more than anyone else.

A few nights later, I couldn't sleep. I kept waking up and feeling this presence around me. I finally stayed up, pondering what this spirit might be. I had heard that there was a spirit of truth that was from God, and I felt that it was there with me that night. I didn't understand about salvation. I didn't even know how to pray. I didn't know to ask for forgiveness. I knew that I was tired of making what seemed like the wrong decisions in my life. I was told that Jesus was the Son of God, and that night I believed it and accepted Him into my heart. I knew from that moment that I had made the right decision. I had found the true God. Everything else in my life would work out. (And it has!) The next day I wrote this short poem to express what happened to me:

I fell into a well
It was my heart
And when I looked up
God was there.

Shortly after being saved, I was sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. I thank God today for His love for me and for allowing me to grow in Him and to walk in His marvelous light.