24. Long walk across the water
At the time of writing, in the middle of March 05, I had my first message of genuine encouragement from a friend via email. His words touched me, more so perhaps, because it was in German. He may have been prompted by two factors to be giving me such an unexpected blessing:
Firstly, this person had visited us privately some years ago. Knowing us personally makes a difference. The second convincing factor may be the numbers-co-incident on the German/Kenyan missionaryís website, which I reported in the previous chapter. This man had received a copy of the original email.
On the other hand, one local person, whom I had known and reported about, well before my story turned supernatural, and I counted as a real supporter, appeared to be pulling back. This was understandable, since the possibility of retribution, if one was seen to support my weird ideas, was very real in Adelaide. On the other side of the globe it was less likely that anyone would target my friends. (Then again I inferred in a previous chapter - Ch. 37, Mind - that my mother's death in Germany in 2003 was surrounded by doubts, as to what exactly happened).
Herein lies the core of the reasoning that ďthe prophet is not recognized in his own country or by his own family." Prophets are not the most popular people to be friends with, let alone live under the same roof. (Unless they love doing dishes). To put it into the words I saw on a church billboard in the city recently: Those who walk by faith are hard to get along with.
The thought of seeking my fortune elsewhere had been on my mind for a number of years. I became increasingly convinced that because of my whistle blowing my ideas on road safety, my inventions and projects not only fell on deaf ears, but may have been boycotted. Australians moving overseas with an invention was a very common occurrence, even those bright sparks, who were not doubling up as moral campaigners. Even before opening my mouth, the odds had been stacked against me.
In recent times the "go-to-US' came through very strong in my writing. If I was to act on people's advice, instead of letting God confirm my general thinking, I may have packed my bags long ago.
The hint to return to California came from many sources, all of whom meant well. I was well aware however that if I was to act on anything, but what I perceived to be a message from God, I would be lost. Here are two examples, where I perceived people were giving me a 'return to LA' message:
One librarian reported the latest addition to their small collection of books. Two books were highlighted in this particular newsletter: My servant Caleb, by Kerstin Sheldrake and Angelwalk, by Roger Elwood. (Just now, on looking up this information in the Newsletter concerned, I was reminded that the positive email, mentioned in the first paragraph, also encouraged me to read K. Sheldrake).
Another 'LA too many' came on Tuesday 1/3/05 when my wife received a letter, addressed to Isobella. Hard to imagine, Isobel and LA. We had not even had our weekend trip away, the one I dreamed about at the conclusion of my first book.
What happened the next morning, Wednesday 2/3/05, was in my mind a wonderful confirmation from my unseen power source, that California was on the agenda. I had already seriously, but still amidst great doubts, considered going for a Ďlong walk across the water' and had planned to make a reservation on a flight to LA that day. God's timing was perfect once again, friends:
During my regular prayer time I prayed for a missionary couple in Thailand. That morning I included their four adult sons in my thoughts. They lived in Sydney and I did not always include them in my prayers. Their names were all strong, biblical ones, including a young man called Ben, a graphic artist like my daughter Michelle. I concluded my prayer for them by praying for the other two boys and Reuben.
Then my spirit stirred: "Itís not Reuben, who cares Lord, just bless that man Reuben..." My prayer flow was interrupted. Was it the correct fourth name? I knew I would not be able to concentrate, until I knew if Reuben was the correct name. We wouldn't want to confuse God with our prayers?
I turned on the light and checked the names on the family's prayer card. I was correct, only 3 names were the right ones. The fourth name was not Ruben, it was Caleb. Then it hit me. (This was about 10 days before the librarianís newsletter). I knew what the two letters Ca. stood for. But the other three letters would only make sense to those who knew German - translated into German leb means - live!
For a moment I was stunned. Is this really how God works? Can this really be HIS way of passing a message to a human? If I tried, I couldn't deny such precise sequence of events, my thought pattern that went with it and the incredible timing. Later that day I booked a ticket to LA.
May I stress here that circumstances have changed financially. In the past I had on 4 or 5 occasions tested the waters, as it were, if God would want to use influential people, to assist my journey financially. Now I am glad that this has not happened. I do not want anybody to feel any guilt whatsoever for not answering my correspondence in that regard. What God has planned to do will come to pass.
But had I not been down that road before? Had I not learned my lesson? What made me so sure it would be different this time, if indeed the message I seemed to be receiving was - see LA? What if I was to land there again, only to be forced to return home in confusion to face the music Ė and I donít mean Hillsong?
I don't have the answer, but how could I deny my experience with the five letters Caleb, especially when certain humans appeared to be thinking the same way?This morning I was listening to a broadcast by Chuck Swindoll, a US Radio Preacher. He quoted a scripture - I will guide you with mine eyes - which I remember my mother quoting when I was a very young child. If God was to lead me a third time to the US, or wherever, HE again will lead me, without a doubt, to the place where HE wants me at the right time.
On 23/5/04 I received a vision. It was a strong mental picture of the letters ISSO on a "Litfasaule". (Chapter 40, Mind).
This is the closest I could find in Adelaide that resembles the structure in my vision.
On the surface my last jaunt to Los Angeles had turned out a total failure. All doors I had knocked on stayed shut. But I had learned a lesson: You donít walk into a banquet and just sit down, where you think you should be sitting. As a guest you wait until the host comes and assigns a place for you to sit at.
Toward the end of Book 1, I had suggested that love, an increased effort of love, was the tool I was hoping would change my wife's thinking to accept me. Had I failed in this attempt? It appeared that way - the more I experienced Godís magic, the less I was able to make her see. I gave up trying to open her eyes even with the most magical of events. This was the way to keep the peace, but got us nowhere.
In the bigger picture of things, I saw a parallel to Christ and HIS bride. All the miracles, the good works HE did, HIS profound teaching in HIS infinite wisdom were not enough to find acceptance by HIS own people, the Jews. HE had to make the ultimate sacrifice to open their eyes. It's hard to believe that some still donít recognize HIM to this day.
Traveling overseas would not be a plan to escape, to avoid retribution for my speaking out. (If it was, you would not be reading about it here). I was prepared to take the consequences for my questioning. It's the evil ones who will run in the end, not the Godly. However, my deep desire is to be effective for God and be, where HE wants me to be.
To depart to another place would have another flow-on effect. The stalemate between my family and I would have a catalyst to be resolved or at least move to another level. Either I was to rise to succeed in reaching new heights in my journey or my thinking was changed radically, with or without drugs and I most likely would live unhappily ever after.
Godís ultimate will will come to pass - in your life, in mine and in all of us. Leaving my family, even temporarily, would not have been my choice of teaching a lesson. But neither would I want anyone to get hurt to learn a lesson. When I even hint at being a target, because I spoke out so publicly, Isobel would just shrug it off. She seemed less alarmed by my thoughts than if she had discovered a spider crawling up a wall.
Every day I came across circumstances, where I had to simply marvel at what was taking place. People everywhere must have heard about it. They let me know in many and varied ways, some of which I may not even have noticed.
A classic example I did notice came on Saturday 12/3/05. If the following is just pure co-incidence, then it must be a scientific miracle. If it was people telling me, they liked my numbers and had as much fun as I was, it was even more magic.
That Saturday I took a load of returnable glass- and plastic bottles and aluminum cans to the recycling depot. Nobody ever counted, I donít think, how many they presented for a refund. So I just accepted, whatever amount of cash the attended handed to me after his count. Here is the original receipt. What would you think of the figures? (I blanked out certain details for privacy).
What are PET's? Even the street name, meaning "we (are for) n" and their address, number 10-12 had me amazed, after I had a closer look at this receipt.
The most obvious number co-incident, of course, is the amount of money I received - it matched the date. Next time I shall go and hand in my bottles and cans on the 31.12.
The more I look at it, the more I see - 250.0, isn't that like 2005? And why a decimal point? Has ever anybody come along, claiming a refund on a fraction of a bottle?
What fun my family misses out on, not even wanting to look at this classic piece of art, created for those who have eyes to see.
My congratulations to the artist.