Ama (Mother) Phoebe, known for her spiritual wisdom and gentle and discerning heart, was approached by a young pilgrim, concerned about feeling distant from God. Listening with prayerful attentiveness to the young woman’s tearful account, Ama Phoebe discerned her to be a committed follower of Jesus and one receptive to the touch of the Holy Spirit.
“What must I do,” pleaded the young woman.
“My dear,” said Ama Phoebe. “Tonight, just before sleep, invite the Holy Spirit to nestle your soul against the bosom of God.”
When the young woman came the next day, Ama Phoebe simply asked: “Did you sleep well?”
The young woman replied: “Why yes, thank you, Ama Phoebe. Though I did wake three times wondering if my soul could really be held so close by God.” She paused to catch the wise woman’s eyes. “What should I do next,” she asked.
“Tonight, my dear, before you sleep, ask the Holy Spirit for your soul to receive the kiss of God’s love.”
When the young woman arrived the following day, Ama Phoebe again asked: “Did you sleep well, my dear?”
“Oh yes, the young woman replied. But I did wake twice, wondering could my soul really receive such a kiss. So, Ama Phoebe, what am I to do next?” She asked.
“Tonight, my dear, before you sleep, ask the Holy Spirit that your soul might wear the ring of betrothal to the Prince of Glory.”
The next day, Ama Phoebe again asked the same question: “Did you sleep well, my dear?”
“Yes,” she replied, “Very well, thank you. Though I did wake once, wondering if the ring was really on the finger of my soul.” She paused, resting her gaze on the wise woman’s face. “Is there yet another thing I might do?”
“Tonight, my dear, before you sleep,” replied Ama Phoebe, “ask the Holy Spirit that your soul eat at God’s table and rejoice in God’s abundant grace.”
The next day, Ama Phoebe again asked the same question she had asked before. “Did you sleep well, my dear?”
“Yes,” she replied, “Very well, thank you. My sleep was deep and unbroken. When I finally woke up, I was smiling. I believe my soul has filled with the love of God.”
Ama Phoebe blessed the young woman and sent her on her way. As this young woman continued to mature, people noticed her humility, happiness, and holiness.
(with a bit of help from Charles Haddon Spurgeon)