I like that the author includes a section cautioning readers about the pitfalls associated with spiritual encounters.
While it is entirely possible for people to have dramatic conversions. Stories where they are 'struck blind on the road to Damascas', it is also entirely too easy for these fantastic stories to be misleading. You can argue whether the person might be being mislead by their own desire for the encounter, or by a dark spirit. The author mentions that she herself has a dramatic story, and that when she tells it she can see some audience members lost in it, while others are skeptical.
"This skepticism is a healthy thing. In fact, it's a firm part of the Christian tradition. Visions, apparitions, and other mystical experiences must never be taken at face value; too many of them are the products of emotional projection, while others are fabrications of the Evil One. Some have even humbler origins. Scrooge initially attributed Marley's ghost to indigestion, saying: 'There is more of gravy about you than of the grave.'
"Taking false things for real is guaranteed to lead from bad to worse. Even legitimate experiences can tempt some people toward ballooning self-regard and progressive grand confusion.
"When it comes to spiritual experiences, 'safety first' means treating them with caution, and keeping handy a few grains of salt. It's good to have a spiritual father or mother, or at least a mature Christian friend, who can help with discernment. A common piece of advice is to simply ignore such occurrences, because with time the real thing has a way of establishing itself. If it's real, it will bear fruit by changing you for the better. You will find yourself becoming more patient and humble and loving toward other people. On the other hand, if its effect is to make you feel excited, it's probably a fraud."
And, she says, whatever you do don't go looking for such experiences. You're bound to experience something eventually. Just like eventually everyone gets that email from the Nigerian prince telling them they've won millions of dollars.
"Seek the Lord, not his gifts, not his saints. Don't even seek a better prayer life. Seek him, and all things will be added unto you.
"Because even when encounters are genuine, any beauty perceived is ultimately due to the presence of Christ. A saint is just an ordinary person who has been filled with the spirit of Christ. The quality that distinguishes one saint from another is like that of the light streaming from lanterns made of different shades of glass.
"Each human being is an unrepeatable individual, and to fail to be a saint is to eternally deprive the kingdom of God of one irreplaceable shade of radiance. As the French philosopher Jean Bloy wrote, 'There is but one sorrow: not to become a saint.'"