I could not find my thread with my story, so I posted it again. I hope it will be a useful witnessing tool to some of you!



"The Glorious Hall"

I was only going to be in town for a couple of weeks, and there were many
Places I wanted to visit. Chief on my list was the "Glorious Hall" on the
Basement floor of the "University of Intellectual Enlightenment."

I walked down the steps to the basement of the university inhaling the
Lively scent of pine. I was struck by the beauty of the place. Upon the
Walls were carved reliefs of the worlds most famous universities, and the
Faces of the worlds greatest thinkers. I read my brochure and learned that
There was a group of one hundred and fifty of the worlds most intelligent people
Cloistered together in the Great Hall. These people had been there, deep in
Thought and contemplation for the past 27 years. My mind thrilled at the
Wonders they must have discovered.

As I stepped into the dimly lit interior of the basement I could hear
Voices, and see people conversing excitedly with one another. I heard
Languages from all over the world, all of them caught up in deep
Conversations. My heart skipped a beat; I knew I was in a very special
Place.

There was an older woman sitting in one corner of the room. I saw her
Carefully observing the conversations which were taking place around her,
And making notes in a book she held upon her lap.

I approached her and questioned her about what she was doing.

"I am listening", she said, giving added emphasis to the word "listening".
The woman had a sweet face; her eyes were grey and seemed to possess great
Wisdom.
Brushing a white strand of hair behind her ear, she continued.

"You know my dear", she said, "the greatest discoveries of mankind are said
To be made by accident."

"Oh, yes, I know", I replied, as I took a seat in a chair next to hers.

The old woman gestured with a knobby, age worn hand at the crowd of people
In the room. "Someone here may have the one seemingly insignificant piece of
Information, which nevertheless is the key to solving one of the worlds
Greatest mysteries."

I felt a chill run up my spine, "oh my, that is just fascinating", I
Replied.

I sat quietly beside her, not wanting to disturb her thoughts. I planned to
Ask her, at the end of the day, if she would let me hold her book and study
Her notes.

I inhaled deeply. If there were actually such a place as heaven, it must be
Something like this. I had always been very curious, even as a young child.
My mother had called me her little "red headed firebrand", the memory made
Me chuckle. I closed my eyes and basked in the atmosphere of this place, it
Was dark, cool, and meditative. I felt happy, fulfilled, it was my dream to
Share the same space with enlightened people such as myself. I knew that
Someday I would be a professor in a great university.

My mind drifted to another old woman I had met that day, and the thought
Spoiled my mood. A playground was situated on campus in such a way that you
Had to walk directly in front of it on your way to the Great Hall. The walk
To the Great Hall was a long one, and there were many concrete steps to
Climb to teach the entryway. There were only a few park benches on the
Grounds, and they were full to capacity with people resting before ascending
The steps. I managed to squeeze in beside an old lady who was sitting out in
The blazing sun, watching her grandchildren play, and reading a bible. If I
Had not needed the rest, I would have passed up the seat.

I can't imagine spending my whole life as an intellectually paralyzed
Fundamentalist. This is exactly what I told the old lady when she began to
Witness to me. I let her know that I had gone to church many times in my
Life, and that I had studied the works of some of the worlds greatest
Theologians. After hearing about my experiences she even admitted that she
Probably did not have anything to offer me. I felt a little pang of guilt
Now as I remembered our conversation. I did not have to be so rude to her. I
Guess she caught the brunt of my frustration due to all the bible thumpers I
Had been running from lately. There was a revival taking place on my own
Campus, and the fundamentalists were equating many of the teachings at our
University with Satan. I had had enough of that to last me for a lifetime.

The old lady had meant me no harm, I should have been nicer to her. If she
Chose to spend her life never thinking beyond her narrow view of the bible,
Who was I to tell her she was wrong. I was pursuing happiness in my own way,
And she should have the same right.

My train of thought was interrupted by a pair of gentlemen who were
discussing the unified field theory, I love that topic. Next to them was a
another group who were trying to guess what profound subject was being
discussed in the "inner sanctum" by the group behind the heavy wooden doors.
That is exactly what I was wondering, I wanted to be a fly on the wall in
there.

A hush fell over the room and someone whispered, "this is it". Entering the
basement was a trail of people carrying serving trays. They crossed the huge
room and headed for the doors to the "inner sanctum."

You could have heard a pin drop as the doors squeaked open. People were
holding their breath, every ear in the place turned toward the open doorway
straining for even the slightest fragment of conversation coming from that
room. I began to hear a muffled symphony of data emerging from the greatest
minds on earth, but I was unable to pick out any individual words. I forced
myself to concentrate like never before, this might be my one and only
chance!

It was over in an instant and the room once again erupted with conversation.
I had not been able to make out one single word. I had never been so
disappointed in all my life.

I headed toward one of the people with the serving trays. I begged him to
tell me what they were discussing inside.

"I have only shared those details with a few people over the years", the man
said.
"But sir, I have traveled all the way across the country for this", I
entreated him. "I may never be able to come back here again, can't you
understand that this is the most important thing in the world to me?"

I saw something register in his eyes, a recognition of some sort, he handed
his tray to another employee. "Has your whole life been a quest for
knowledge", he asked me.

"Yes, it absolutely has", I replied.

"I thought so", he said. "I will tell you what I know".

Someone in the crowd shouted, "the code words" and he pointed at me. "That
girl must know the code words because the guy with the serving tray is
talking to her."

This started a stampede and the man grabbed my arm and rushed me into a
hidden room near the back of the Great Hall. Once safely inside, he offered
me a seat. "Don't question me about the code words", he said.

"Okay", I replied.

He seated himself across from me. "I am going to give you only certain
information, when I am done, you must leave".

"That's fine", I said, "I will take any information you choose to give me".
I was lightheaded with anticipation.

He clasped his hands and leaned forward in his chair. "What I am about to
tell you is not to be spoken of to the general public. There will be people
in your life whom you will share this information with, you will know them
when you meet them.

"How will I..."

"Shhh", he interrupted me. "When I am done, I will allow you a couple of
questions, but not until then, do you understand."

I responded that I understood.

He sat back into his chair. "When this conference began twenty seven years
ago, it was supposed to last for one week, and there was a list of topics
which were to be covered. I was in the room on the very first day, serving
coffee and doughnuts to the participants. The meeting was called to order
and three men in the group were handed pens and pads of paper. These men
were to be the official note takers during that week. One of the men who was
assigned to take notes asked a question, now historic, which is known only
to those inside."

I was hanging upon this man's every word. I could not believe that out of
the hundreds of people in the Great Hall, only I was sitting here, about to
hear the greatest secret of all time. I felt as though I had reached the
very apex of my existence in that moment.

"I will never forget that day", the man continued. "I watched the note taker
write the date on the upper left corner of his page, then he began to look
at his pen, to turn in over and over in his hand with wonder. The rest of
the group asked him what he was doing. He told them that he was questioning
the reality of his pen. He told them that he wondered if his own fingers
which held his pen were real, was the paper he had just written the date
upon real, or were these things merely perceived to be real by those in
attendance. There were gasps heard throughout the room, and this question is
what sparked the conversation which still continues within this group to
this very day."

I laughed.

The man looked at me sternly, "I am not joking" he said.

I stopped laughing, I held up my brochure, "what about the hundreds of
articles published in scientific journals all over the world that were
supposed to have been written in the Great Hall."

"Those articles were indeed written in the Great Hall, but they have nothing
To do with the cloisted group of scientists."

I admit I was a bit miffed, "then just exactly who wrote them," I asked.

The man rose from his seat, opened the door just a crack, and pointed toward the
Corner to where the old woman sat taking notes, "she did," he said.

"You mean to tell me she is the one who wrote all the articles?" I was
Stunned to the core of my being," and after twenty seven years with the
Greatest minds on earth together in one place, that the meeting has not even
Started yet?"

I saw sympathy in his eyes, "I am afraid so" he replied.

My stomach churned, I felt dizzy. My intellect grasped desperately for some
Way to assimilate this information. The man placed a cold, wet washcloth
Into my hands. I thanked him, and buried my face into it. I felt so cheated,
I suddenly felt as though I had wasted my whole life. I had spent every cent
I had saved over the first three years of college to get here, and I
Suddenly felt surrounded by profound darkness. I felt as though I were
Covered in cobwebs, and breathing in death. I began to gag, and I ran from
The room, my mind reeling.

I needed fresh air, I raced down the concrete steps and out into the
Afternoon sun. I remembered the guilt I felt over the way I had responded to
The old woman on the park bench. I had seen something in her, something
Good, it was that something which made me feel bad for the way I had treated
Her. I realized I was crying and I remembered what she had said to me. It
Must have been a Scripture. It was about coming to give "them" life more
Abundantly, or something like that. I realized at that moment exactly what I
Had seen in her, it was LIFE, she was an old woman, and yet her eyes had
Been brimming with LIFE. I needed to see her at that moment more than I'd
Ever needed anyone else.

I panicked thinking that she might be gone, but she was still there. As I
Ran toward her, she looked up at me and smiled. I stopped just short of the
Bench and began to spout out an apology. The old woman simply welcomed me
With outstretched arms.


When I first began this story I told you I had only planned to be in town
For a couple of weeks, that was true, but as it turns out I have now been
Here for the better part of fifty years. This is where my best
Friend, and greatest mentor was laid to rest many years ago. Her name was Sophie, you
Would know her as the old woman on the park bench. I accepted the Lord Jesus
Christ as my Savior the day I met her, and was reborn.

I did go on to become a professor and I had a wonderful career. I taught at
A local bible college until I retired a few years ago. I still love science and keep
Myself up to date on all the latest advances.

I feel I am at the very apex of my existence as I write this story. I am
Sitting on the park bench in front of the Great Hall watching my
Grandchildren play. Just in case you wondered, the same conversation still
Continues behind the wooden doors in the Great Hall. As the old scientists
Died off, they were replaced by young, fresh ones. It is no wonder that all
Of mankind's greatest discoveries are made by accident.

As I watch my grandchildren play, I am also keeping an eye out for the
Disillusioned and heart broken young people who emerge from the Great Hall.
I am so thankful to the Lord for allowing me to become one, in a line of
Many women who guide His sheep home into His Arms. There have been many over
The years, I have known them all when I have seen them.

The way things in this world are going I would not be a bit surprised if the
Rapture happened within the next five seconds, but until it does, I will
Keep at my post. If necessary there will be another to take my place some day.
I always welcome each new member of the fold with
Open arms, and I always tell them the very same story I have just told you.