This is a book of true stories — stories about people who have had extraordinary experiences of God. These events have not occurred as “going to heaven” in the course of Near Death Experiences as have been chronicled in some best-selling books of recent years. Rather they have happened here in this world unexpectedly and in the middle of the everyday lives of almost half of present day Americans according to some studies. Here you will find in their own words accounts of such experiences from fifty-eight of those people some of them sharing their experiences for the first time.
Joan Hickey has been reading and researching in the field of mystical experiences for over sixty years. She has a master’s degree in pastoral counseling and four years of graduate study in theology and pastoral studies at the Washington Theological Union.
She has been associated with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation for thirty-five years and a member of the Associate Staff for twenty-five of those years and was also a member of the Adjunct Faculty for the Virginia Theological Seminary’s Continuing Education program for sixteen years. Now in her eighties she is retired from her work of many years as a pastoral counselor spiritual director retreat leader and teacher of contemplative prayer practices. A lifelong Christian she comes from a broadly ecumenical family which has members who collectively belong to six different Christian denominational traditions. She is a widow has three adult sons one daughter-in-law and four grandchildren and lives in the Virginia suburbs of Washington D.C.
"In these stories one hears voices of authenticity. These are the &lsquoreal deal ' articulate even when the writers are saying they are at a loss for words. The tone is humble and direct - and lacking any claims to entitlement. They're simply telling the truth. And the truth is powerful. I read the manuscript over a two-day period and by day two I couldn't wait to get back to it. Engrossing! I don't think there is anything quite like this book available to seekers and professionals." - Dolores Leckey Senior Research Fellow Woodstock Theological Center
"In Part One of this book the author sketches 'Background and Context' of mysticism/mystical experiences throughout history cultures terminology and the qualities and criteria of true mysticism. Old Testament quotes Saul/Paul of Tarsus Francis of Assisi Teresa of Avila William James and yes Frank Sinatra and Sarah Palin all show up. Erudite as it is it still feels like a down-home dialogue." - Mark J. Freihage Ph.D. Psychology
"This book provides validation for those who have been encountered by God [in such events] and have been frightened or disowned because they run counter to popular notions about who God is and how God works in today's world. It is a celebration of God's life in the lives of individual men and women and witnesses to the reality that God still speaks if we are willing to be open to God." - The Rev. Burton Newman S.T.D
"This is a book for people who believe in God people who do not and people who aren't sure but are curious. It is for people from all walks of life - teachers nurses and office workers stay-at-home moms and dads, doctors and lawn caretakers, lawyers, scientists, construction workers, clergy, mental health professionals, musicians, business people, pet groomers, and artists. It is hard to imagine anyone who would not be moved by at least some of these stories." - Karen Gammache M.S. Pastoral Counseling