Glimpses of grace

November 22, 2016

I’m not given to visions or supernatural experiences. I can count on one hand the number of divine encounters that I’ve had during my life. 

By “divine encounters,” I don’t mean the miracles that we experience every day. Yes, I do believe that miracles happen all the time; in fact, they are so commonplace and so “ordinary” that we may very well miss them. Our good God creates them over and over for us. They are all around us, if we only have eyes to see. 

Sunsets come to mind. A cardinal landing on a branch just as I'm needing a little grace for the day. A "chance" encounter with someone. Healing after a surgery. A "prompting" to give someone a call.

No, I'm talking "Moses and the burning bush" - type experiences. The kind where we see a lifting of the veil, a glimpse into a world beyond. A very real connection, a tailor-made, just-for-us touch from the Lord. When our heart stops and we know that we are on holy ground.

I experienced such a moment years ago in, of all places, a Kroger parking lot. God is present with us not just in a beautiful sunset across a tropical ocean, or in the awesome grandeur of a mountain range, but in a slushy, muddy parking lot of a grocery store on a cold and gray Michigan winter afternoon.

I was a young mom and had run out to the grocery store one Saturday afternoon while my husband watched the children. I had finished my shopping and I was trying to push a fully-laden grocery cart over the parking lot and across ruts of melted snow and ice to get to my van. The wheels were jamming and I had to keep adjusting the cart and steering it around puddles of icy water. My boots were leaking and the bottom of my jeans were wet. I got to the back of my van and lifted the rear door, grimy and dirty with the slush that always sprays up from the roads in such weather. 

I started lifting the bags of groceries into the back of the van. Pausing as I reached for another one, I glanced up. Strings of electrical and phone wires hung limply between the telephone poles edging the side of the road. Cars drove past, overhung by the kinds of massive, heavy, gloomy clouds that can hold sway in a Michigan winter sky for weeks.

And then a strange thing happened. It was as if, as I looked through the wires and up at the sky, a kind of film was lifted up and away off of everything and I got a glimpse of something different, something that existed behind my view.

Not a thing had changed. The telephone wires were still there, the gray clouds, the slush-spattered cars, the banks of gray snow at the edge of the parking lot. But everything took on a new look. As if everything had been washed clean, as if somehow it had all been redeemed. Even the noises I heard, the traffic, people’s voices, were clear and bell-like, clean-sounding and fresh.

Everything was the same and yet everything had been transformed. The whole world had taken on a different aspect.

Is this what the world is really like? Or meant to be? Or what it will be some day? Was it a glimpse of heaven?

 I pondered this event for a long time before I realized what it was that I saw behind the curtain that had been lifted for my benefit. For me, a young woman, tired and a little worn from the cares of the day, who was given this gift. What I saw that day was what is beyond and behind everything. And that thing is Love.

These are the bits of precious gold that I cling to.

It makes me think of the cabby in C.S. Lewis’s book, The Magician’s Nephew. At the end of the book, he gets a glimpse of heaven.

“Glory be!” said the Cabby. “I’d ha’ been a better man all my life if I’d known there were things like this.”

I hang on to this memory, this snapshot of what the world is really like, of what it will be like someday when everything broken will be restored. The Bible tells us to think on things that are true and lovely and of good report. The world here is a beautiful place with many awesome and wonderful things. But the truest things, the best things, the things that endure and last, are not what we can see.

But a lifting of the veil, and all is revealed.


A very Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S readers.


  1. How beautiful and uplifting this heartfelt post is. Thank you.

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving ~ Love & hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. What a gift you received that day! Amazing also that you saw and recognized a difference in the surroundings. My mother always felt that heaven was here on earth, but on a different plane. Something that was revealed to her made her feel this was true. Thank you for sharing your experience Deborah. Happy Thanksgiving!
    Hugs, Wendy xox

  3. Hi Deborah, what an inspiration this beautifully written post is. Seeing what God sets before us is a blessing when we stop and slow down enough to catch those gifted moments.
    It's like seeing into the future in a way. God saying, all is okay. Thank you for sharing your spiritual experience.
    Wishing you and your sweet family a very Happy Thanksgiving! xo Blessings

  4. Dearest Deborah,
    Lovely story and it did paint a very lovely contrasting sight with what was going on around you at that time... You managed to do it very vividly, one can almost feel what you saw!

  5. Such an uplifting post, written from the heart. Wishing you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving.

  6. What a beautiful written story you've shared of your special glimpse of what we have to look forward to, my friend. As a young mom, you must've been so rewarded on that profound day that only God could share with you. Thank you for sharing with us, and Hapoy Thanksgiving blessings to you and your family. Love and hugs are sent to you.

  7. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Deborah. We are so blessed.

  8. You are truly an artist who paints pictures with words. Many thanks for your heartfelt words. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Deborah. Rosie

  9. Deborah...what a beautiful experience must have been and truly inspirational! God so often shows Himself to us in ways (and at times) that we would hardly expect them! Thank you for sharing this with us. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! ♥

  10. Insightful and touching post. Thank you....I needed to read it today.

  11. BEAUTIFUL!! Thank you for sharing this. It has really inspired me.

  12. From my heart and home to yours, Thanksgiving Blessings. Powerful testimony of all the Lord has for us, but we often miss. Thank you for sharing. May He touch us each more and more as we yield to His Spirit.
    Hugs, Noreen

  13. You had me right there with you in that Michigan parking lot. Another beautiful post with powerful meaning. Happy Thanksgiving, Deborah!

  14. A beautiful post, Deborah. Those moments are truly gifts from a loving God. Happy Thanksgiving.

  15. I was there in the parking lot because I live in PA and know JUST what you mean about the cart and the slush and the difficulty...UGH!

    And then what a lovely, lovely moment....such a beautiful post : )

  16. Such a marvelous, poignant moment. Thank you for sharing it with us. I feel its beauty.

    Wishing you more of those glimpses of heaven in unexpected places...
    Brenda xox

  17. Thank you for sharing your experience, Deborah. You described it so well that I felt like I was right there with you.

  18. Oh, Deb- that is absolutely awwesome.

    Hugs and prayers - have a blessed Advent season! Sorry I've been away. Hugs. ♥♥♥


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