Thursday, February 8, 2024

Embracing presence of God (640)

Below is a small and touching story/incident by an unknown author. It speaks of the transformation of an agnostic into a believer in an unusual circumstance. Maybe I had edited this story but not sure whether this was posted earlier in my blog. Please read on.

A young man raised as an agnostic was training to be an Olympic diver. The only religious influence in his life came from his outspoken Christian friend.

 The young diver never really paid much attention to his friend's sermons, but he heard them often.

One night the diver went to the indoor pool at his college. The lights were all off, but as the pool had big skylights and the moon was bright, there was plenty of light to practice by.

The young man climbed up to the highest diving board and as he turned his back to the pool on the edge of the board and extended his arms out, he saw his shadow on the wall. The shadow of his body was in the shape of a cross.

 Instead of diving, he knelt and asked God to come into his life. As the young man stood, a maintenance man walked in and turned the lights on.

The pool had been drained for repairs.

Normally he would have dived without making much of the shadow that appeared as a cross on the wall. But it was nighttime with him being alone and none around the pool. it was dark and sombre with no lights turned on producing a lonely feeling. It is only when things are different from normal and when you are alone that your mind turns towards the unknown god. The shadow of a cross formed by his body with extended arms was enough to bring a sudden transformation in his uneasy mind. He looked in the shadow of the presence of God whom he had been ignoring all the time. It was the personal repentance at that moment that made him kneel before the shadow and seek God coming into his life.

Many of us cry out to God when we pass through difficult times in our life particularly when we feel helpless, weak, abandoned or overwhelmed by daunting challenges. Even during life-threatening circumstances, we turn to God. When our ego is less, we are closer to God and once the situation changes for the better the old ego returns stronger we tend to live in our normal ways away from Him.

It was for this reason that Kunti, mother of Pandavas in Mahabharata, prayed to Lord Krishna to keep her always in trouble so that she would remember Him always.

“My Lord, Your Lordship can easily be approached, but only by those who are materially exhausted. One, who is on the path of [material] progress, trying to improve by himself with respectable parentage, great opulence, high education and bodily beauty, cannot approach You with sincere feeling.” (Srimad Bhagavatam 1.8.26).

The utterance of the Lord’s name no doubt has potency but is very high only when it is uttered sincerely with total faith in surrender mode. It is the quality of feeling or yearning that determines the potency. Such sincerity comes only when one feels helpless and has no material devices to fall upon.

Such a transformation process or change of mind towards God is preceded by sincere repentance. It is to say to the Lord, “I want to turn towards You and away from the life I’ve lived independently from You. I am sorry for who I’ve been and what I have done and I want to permanently change. I wish to receive your forgiveness for my sins.”

The miraculous appearance of the maintenance man and switching on the lights in the nick of time to save the young man’s life is indicative that the Lord has forgiven him.




  1. Indeed a story of god's miracle! Believers are delighted to read it..

  2. A well written piece. Second you on all points nentioned. Unseen, he holds are hands and guides us. Our belief is what makes us.

  3. Wow! Great spiritual message , which is much needed for the current time in the society. Lot of points to meditate about Very nice article to share with us. Thank you 🙏


  4. Very nice blog post with excellent message.

  5. I like to read this type stories and incidents.An uncle in our family finally turned to God when his ship was caught in a storm. Miraculous escape made him a great devotee of Lord Balaji and named his son Balaji later. Nice post to start my day Kp.

  6. Nicely written GP.. God loves both believers and non believers as both are His children. Believers realise His compassion. Thank you for the story.

  7. Haughty people who ride on ignorance are proud of their attainments and find superstition in others who believe in God . The gracious Lord sees to it that His erring subjects too come around Him soon. Great message with a twist in the last ,as always in your story .

  8. The mind must be willing to seek Him, and then only one sees Him. Otherwise, miracles would merely remain occurrences with low statistical probability.

  9. Great story. Mysterious are the ways God enters our lives and makes us aware of his presence. Most of us pray to God daily, just out of habit.The boy is very blessed to realise the presence of God in this life itself, even though agnostic. Must be because of his previous karma.

  10. God = Faith! Faith and hope plays a big role in a man’s life. Whatever be the name - God or faith man must make it an essential part of his life. It is the strength that helps us go through our life. Miracles like this make it hard for us to deny that superior being watching over us. Remembering Him everyday should become a part of our life like breathing. Beautiful story that makes you thank Him for your life!

  11. Lovely story! The appearance of the maintenance man in the Nick of time was quite possibly a heaven sent emissary.

  12. Very interesting story indeed. Atin Biswas

  13. To be agnostic and transforming to be a believer is all based on Karma factor unknown to humans. God in any form keeps track of every individual being , to intervene at the moment he deserves. Story of Prahalada and Markandeyan and so many others are proof enough!

  14. Great story of faith and realisation.

    It is said- "God helps those who help themselves".
    The diver helped himself by thinking of God. That was God's plan!

  15. Very nice one.