Five Miracles: A glimpse of the Holy Spirit on My Faith Journey

Denis Greene 2015

Dear Fellow Traveler,

Thomas_Cole,_The_Voyage_of_Life,_1842,_National_Gallery_of_ArtWhen I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, a pal encouraged me to write my biographical faith journey. He knew that it would be an exercise in reconciliation and forgiveness. I did not expect that the look back in time would illuminate a few mystical moments.

Writing the first draft in the 12 months between my diagnosis and the “all clear” gave me some respite from constant worry. This dry, empty, immobile year of pain was in stark contrast to the moment when I felt most alive: the summer I learned to windsurf in Cape Town.

Looking back on some of the painful moments: encountering the righteous indignation of a gorilla, having a gun to my head in a war zone, malaria/dysentery/broken arm in the same week, lightning on a mountain top, being a witness in a murder trial, electrocution, wrestling an alligator, they all seemed to be wake up calls. And the blessings: Jenny, parenthood, meaningful work, my brotherhood of pals, the soothing balm of my faith practice, all seemed to be a reward. But to see them together, in context, they appear as dimensions of feeling totally alive, like windsurfing through the turbulent ocean of life.

After my brother died when I was 20, I concluded that any of us could die in a random car wreck like he did. In the following years I tried to live life fully, make the world a better place, talk about important things and take risks.

Stretching way out of my comfort zone resulted in many failures, scars and close calls. Looking back at the highlight reel I get a glimpse of the Holy Spirit’s active role in my life.

The “God Moments” that I am aware of include:

  1. In an Angolan war zone, with a gun to my head.
  2. Wheelie through a pack of baboons.
  3. Witness in a murder trial.
  4. Meeting Jenny.
  5. Cancer discovery.

These five stories are tucked into 20 other steps of my faith journey. Getting them on paper has helped me make sense of my life’s chaotic chapters.

Sincerely,   Denis Greene, Kansas City 2015