I was first introduced to Dallas Willard through a Masters program for Spiritual Formation in 2008. He was the speaker at our first residency. I was impressed with his vision of the Kingdom and that he seemed so different than any one else I’d ever met. He was so open and available to us as his students. He was “with” us at meals and available to talk should we need it.
Never one to ‘push in’ I had not talked personally with Dallas. The final morning, I was woken from a sound sleep by a voice in my head (God?!) that said “Wake Up! You’re having breakfast with Dallas Willard!” I lept out of bed and rushed through my morning ritual, curious to see what would happen.
At breakfast I found my good friend Beth and told her we were having breakfast with Dallas. Logically, she asked if I’d made an appointment with him. I said no, and confessed my morning “wake up” call. Beth humored me and we saved a seat for Dallas…..by faith. Breakfast was almost over but no Dallas. I began to wonder if I’d gotten it right and Beth was getting ready to leave when he saw him. In amazement we watched him walk to our table and sit down right next to Beth.
Thinking I would direct the conversation I began asking him questions about what I thought our meeting was to be about. However, soon into our discussion it became very apparent God had another agenda. The question came up as to how one knows what one is to do to follow God. Suddenly the atmosphere changed and Dallas looked directly at Beth, like there was no one else at the table, and said: “Every morning when I wake up I ask the Lord what he wants me to do or learn that day. I am his student and he is my teacher and we converse like that. This morning I asked him that question and (looking into Beth’s eyes) I saw your face….and I don’t even know your name, and now here we are!
Tears filled Beth’s eyes and it was a moment where time stood still. Heaven and earth had met. I was amazed, humbled and drawn into something far greater than myself. That was the day I became a fan of Dallas Willard, a man who actually lives in and works for the Kingdom of God!
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Jeanie Hoover lives with her husband Dave in the Chicago, with him she's had the humbling privilege of raising three children. She currently enjoys being a spiritual director as it involves listening to others and looking for God within in their daily lives. She is the founder and director of the Transformational Listening Center an eighteen month program that trains individuals how to listen to God, to themselves and to others. (http://tlcchicago.com).