Something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, and after taking some food, he regained his strength.
— Acts 9:18-19
As we can imagine, Saul’s experience of meeting Jesus on the way to Damascus must have been terrifying. He said later that when Jesus appeared to him, he felt as if he were like a child taken from the womb too early (“one abnormally born”). Being stopped by a blinding light, falling to the ground, and learning that he had persecuted the church of God by chasing followers of the crucified Messiah—who was now ruling in heaven— was all too much!
Saul, blinded by glory, had to be led by hand along the rest of the way to Damascus. Then, a few days later, the Lord sent Ananias to visit Saul, and he received the Holy Spirit, was healed from blindness, and was baptized.
The book of Acts shows that people come to faith in Jesus in many different ways. The Spirit is free and does not follow a formula. Sometimes the Spirit uses words of Scripture to move a person’s heart. Sometimes a person hears the good news through someone else. Sometimes the Lord speaks through a dream or a vision. In some cases, as with Saul, the encounter may be dramatic and even terrifying, followed by a vision and the coming of the Spirit a few days later. In other cases, whole households are baptized, including children who will grow in faith throughout their life. But in all of these ways the Spirit is at work!
Lord, to some of us you come hovering gently. Others of us need to be knocked to our knees. You know best how to fill us, Lord. Amen.