“How do you portray that feeling when the Spirit descends on you and fills you with light? We know what it means, but it’s hard to describe. Words are often not adequate to explain the feeling. We might say it’s like being filled with heat and light and love, but it’s none and all of those things. It is very personal, which makes it hard to talk about.
“I’ve always felt that defining a spiritual experience is very much like trying to define love. Writers and poets have tried to express ‘love’ in words for hundreds of years. Some things we read give us a feeling or a cue about what love is like, but nothing ever really gets it right. Love is beyond words. It is nonverbal and the attempt to explain it in language trivializes the moment to some extent.
“Every once in a while the Lord will give you an ‘aha’ moment when he deems that you need one. For me, he chose trash night. I was carrying the trash can down the driveway and all of a sudden I just lit up. I was consumed with light and warmth. I can remember it today as clearly as the moment it happened. I thought I was on fire. My soul was filled. I just stood there for seconds, holding the trash can, feeling out of space and time. It then just gradually dissipated.
“No words were spoken out loud, but when I set the trash can down, I thought, ‘I’m going to be called to serve the Church.’ Even though I was anxious and felt overwhelmed and under qualified, I knew that the Lord wanted me there and I knew that with his help, I could fulfill the calling.
“I painted the fire in this image with gold leaf, so when from across the room, the gold catches the light and reminds me of a twenty-nine-year-old junior high school teacher taking out the trash.”