1965, the year that changed my life
Holiday in Scarborough — Day Three
Perhaps Tuesday 20th July 1965
1. I seem to remember that one afternoon, perhaps the day after Hazel and Pam finished with us, Chris and I, impelled by our heartache, decided to go into Scarborough in search of Pastor and Mrs. Williams. We would seek their help, intervention even, to try to restore us to the girls’ favour. We knew they were staying somewhere in Scarborough, but didn’t know precisely where. We were hoping and praying for divine guidance to lead us to them, for we figured that if our courtship was divinely appointed, then God would guide us to them.
But our quest, as it turned out, was in vain.
2. This was not the end of daft and misguided activities, however well-intentioned, during the week.
Peter was quite sympathetic concerning my plight. He could have been indifferent, or hopeful of success for himself with Pam, or quietly satisfied that even if he couldn’t have Pam, neither could I, but he was none of these things. He joined in my anxious discussion about why she could have finished with me. But his contribution turned into an incident which is embarrassing to think about.
Pamela Williams was dark-haired; and not only was her head-hair dark, so was the downy hair above her lip. And Peter mentioned this “bit of a moustache”, and we concluded that she must have finished with me because she was a lesbian.
This led immediately to an impassioned, almost frenzied, prayer session in the chalet, with much weeping and noise as we pleaded with the Lord to free her from this affliction.
The commotion was audible outside, and we heard a girl’s voice — I think it was someone from the Kirkby-in-Ashfield party, up the path from our chalet, or else someone from the Blackburn party down the path — which asked, “Whatever is the matter in there?”
“WE’RE PRAYING FOR A LESBIAN!” I wailed in reply.
Fortunately, the identity of the supposed lesbian was not broadcast to the camp through the thin chalet walls.
3. Another occasion of embarrassment, personally to me, occurred one day (I’m not sure which), and was to do with being “led by the Spirit”, or in fact, being led not by the Spirit but by my own imagination.
My notion about being “led” probably had its origin in the film Sharon, where Pastor Barratt was shown discerning what diseases people had prior to praying for them.
In one of the meetings, or possibly at some other time as we passed the open door of her chalet, we noticed that Fay from Kirkby appeared upset and was weeping. Afterwards, in our chalet, it started to come to me to me, seemingly from nowhere, seemingly by revelation, why Fay was so upset.
“It’s– because–” I started slowly, picking up speed as I gained the feeling of certainty: “Fay has come under conviction and has realised that she’s not saved. Come on!” And I dashed out of the chalet, followed by Chris and Peter, up the path to her chalet, to deal with the situation.
(The expressions “to be convicted”, “to come under conviction”, used to be more prevalent in Pentecostal circles than they are today. They seem to be derived from the Revised Version rendering of John 16:8: “And he [the Spirit of truth], when he is come, will convict the world in respect of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement…” Or perhaps they come from across the Atlantic, from the Revised Version’s “sister” version, the American Standard Version. At any rate, when people realised their sinful state, usually after the preaching of the gospel in a meeting, they were said to be convicted of sin by the Holy Spirit.)
I think when we got there, Fay wasn’t in her chalet; I must have delivered my “word of knowledge” to someone else. For it was not till later on that Fay confronted me indignantly with what I had said, asserting definitely that she was saved.
 Pastor Barratt: I originally wrote “Pastor Williams” here, but I think it was only Pastor Barratt who was shown discerning diseases in the film Sharon.Perhaps Tuesday evening, 20th July 1965
4. Of indisputable genuineness was the experience I had in one of the evening meetings (perhaps on the Tuesday evening). At the end of his message, the speaker — perhaps Pastor Oldershaw, if not a guest speaker — called for those who wanted to dedicate their lives completely to the Lord to stand up. And without hesitation and without reservation I did just that, I got on my feet; and immediately a mighty “anointing” came upon me, the feeling I had had in my first waiting meeting swept through me, and I was unable to stand. I crashed down helplessly into my seat — alarmingly to those around — with tears of great joy and laughter.
I think we were on the back row, on the left-hand side; that would make sense since that was our position at meal-times. I seem to remember, as I sat or almost lay there, with my head back, lolling this way and that in my uncontainable joy, and with my arms splayed out, that my shoulders were on the stacked-up dining tables. I have the impression that Pam was seated to my left. Despite the noise my fall made, I was completely unhurt — unbruised, even.
 I was unable to stand: I did not faint, black out, or lose consciousness; I was perfectly aware of what was going on the whole time. Much was made in the 1990s of the so-called “Toronto blessing”; my identical “Scarborough blessing” pre-dated it by thirty years.
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