“Kora! This is God. Go to the light. I repeat. Go directly to the light.”
These powerful words vibrated in the deepest recesses of 105-year-old Kora Hollinger’s ear (Yes..ear, not ears…more on this later), one evening in July, 2010. However, they must have just hit a wall and bounced right back out, as Kora barely took notice of them, preferring instead to eat her dinner and get on with her evening. Some say God speaks to us in strange ways, but this probably had to be one of the most unique ways in which God attempted to make His presence known to this feisty woman whom he had been tracking for over a century.
When God speaks, though, that doesn’t mean we will always listen, and in the case of my 105-year-old grandmother, if God doesn’t communicate at just the right moment, He’ll have to take a number (and preferably not hers!) and get in line. Kora has things to do and people to see. “I just don’t have time to die,” she has frequently said. Even if God makes His presence known on a Carnival cruise ship out in the middle of the ocean, that still might not be the right time to grab Kora’s attention. True to her proverbial style, she had things to do. If God was going to interrupt her, it would have to be on her time, not His. This particular afternoon was no exception.
The weather outside could not have been more idyllic. The warm sun still cast its brilliant, late afternoon glow across the shiny blue seas. A few billowy clouds decorated the pure sky. Light winds brought about sweet-smelling ocean breezes, and the peaceful waves dancing across the ocean’s surface were both mesmerizing and soothing.
Inside, the first dinner bell had just rung. Guests who had signed up for the early meal had already shuffled into their assigned seats in the main dining room. This 11-year-old family cruise ship had only been at sea for two days, so the hungry travelers were still all-too eager to indulge their taste buds in the bountiful flavors that were soon to come. Hundreds of excited travelers filled the room.