It was the late eighties and I was about through with God's persistent call. I'd left college disillusioned with faith as I encountered so many good law keepers ardent to tell me I was not doing enough to live out my faith. What I learned and heard in college was in such conflict with the Gospel to which I'd been in exposed through Mrs. Williams and Jane Early. I knew through their teaching I was a sinner saved by grace and there was no way to win God's favor by works of righteousness. The doctrines in college, though overtly Christian, were founded on works righteousness popularized by Alexander Campbell and men of his ilk. So, as I departed college, I longed for a world outside a Christian influence; I wanted to live in the world, and to be of it. Thankfully, God's mercy has delivered me from myself at every curve I recklessly navigated. Though I looked for ways of fleshly self-expression that were common to all, God whispered continually to me beckoning. One such way was through a prayer group I landed in at the suggestion of an old friend. It met downtown and was composed of several women who loved the Lord and whose hearts desire was to meet and pray as God led them. A woman in the group asked me several times if I'd like to join a Bible study in the evenings. Finally, I relented and agreed to go. It had been nearly six or eight years since I'd heard Mrs. Williams or Jane Early. And, keep in mind, I was fairly committed to the idea of taking a vacation from God.
I nestled into the seating at the home off West End Avenue where the study met. It was a women's Bible study and there were a host of them of all different types. We congregated boisterously and most seemed to know each other. When the teacher I'll call Rose took the baton from the woman who opened us in prayer, I sensed immediately she shared the same gift of Betty Williams and Jane Early. The Holy Spirit's cloak was about her. She taught with authority beyond her own voice. Though her personality and human nature were apparent, I heard that constant of truth in her teaching that is simply not possible to counterfeit. I knew then and there, this God I was intent on running from had my number, and he had entrusted it to this teacher, Rose. Whether she was aware of it or not, God wielded her in a way so as to keep me bound to the truth of his Word. For her obedience to the Word, to the Spirit and to the Truth, I am grateful.