Sunday, February 17, 2013

Passing Messages Through a Glass

In my spare time I envision long tubes of hollow glass hallways, spider-webbing their way along underneath the whispering waves of the ocean. It's a quiet, secret place, full of only the half-remembered echoes of the sounds of the surface. But spare time is as fleeting as spare rooms with wardrobes, or the thoughts of the intensely overactive, multi-tasking, male collegiate population who drink far to much coffee in the morning and sleep far too few hours at night.

I wasn't planning this blog entry, but if I was (say, a week ago) my subject matter would be completely different. Simply put, I would be rejoicing in upcoming new life instead of contemplating its heaviness. But I and my wife have been given heaviness, and I only thank my Lord Jesus that He makes me strong enough to endure. God is good, the only good, and God is wonderful, most likely the only one who is that too, and in Him I rest and weep out the troubles of my soul.

I say that to say we're okay. Don't worry about us. Pray for us, yes! That is dearly appreciated. But don't worry. God has us in His hands.

With that said, it is an interesting mental exercise (at very least) to attempt to identify the specific messages to the soul that are shot in there through your life experiences, your interpersonal interactions, and the strengthening and weakening of your various relationships. What do you really hear when someone critiques you? What is the first reason that pops into your head for any given life experience? Or are you one of those people (I can't even fathom this, really) that believes that there are no whys; that there are just occurrences that either provide advantage or disadvantage? If you are, bless you. Here's a mixed quote for you from two very godless men: "If life is a stage, and we performers, and everything is by choice, nothing by chance…" then each of us have a very specific role to play in the greater scheme of things, and Heaven help the man that doesn't recognize this and pursue finding out what his role is!

Back to those spider-webbing, glass tube hallways. If I'm being honest, the imagery came from an old, awesome game by the name of Riven. I can know this because I've spent a lot of time being way too introspective, wandering around the wardrobe filled spare rooms of my mind if you will. Lots of people wouldn't be able to tell you this connection between inspiration and creative vision, though. Lots of people don't care to know the seeds that have been planted in their own minds or the messages whispered there again and again in one form or another. Lots of people don't want to know because to know would be too painful to bear.

Admitting there is a problem is 90% of the work of solving it.

For me, it's more than a mental exercise. It can be life or death if I let that message land. If I let that idea score home and pierce me through… "In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;" - Ephesians 6:16

It is sudden… As I walk the passage of deep blue shadows and only flickering light from my lamp the being is there. It is as black as the rocks that lay outside beneath us, at the very bottom of the ocean. The eyes are hollow, colorless and dead. It pulls back the bow and looses an arrow.
There is only a second. But somehow, I watch for an eternity as the ghastly reflections of the flames off the dart twitch and spit along the rounded glass walls. There is immense relief knowing the missile will never reach me, and intense fear, wondering if it ever will.
The second has passed. I close my eyes and breathe. I feel the impact. It doesn't make it through. The shield is almost bristling, in my inexperienced assessment, but it still held firm. "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."
The beast staggers against the wall of the hallway. Black fumes are coming off its left shoulder. I know I got him. "Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world." It is convulsing against the glass. The hissing, horrible whispers fill the hallway. The fumes are putrid, staining the curved ceiling.
"And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you." It dies. There is nothing left except a long, black smear and a foul odor. I move on, breathing deeply once I get past it. Past it. Past…

"Life is made up of passings," is the simple message I hear at the end of this glass hallway. "Do not waste that time that is given with each and every person."

But then the glass shattered. The walls and ceiling and floor, all erupting in and outward in my minds eye. The ocean roared gleefully in, cheerfully washing up and washing away. The sounds of the surface broke through, the gulls were calling over the shore…

Can it ever be adequately described? Waking on the sands, with only half remembered shards of the dream lying around me. The sunlight was in my eyes, a new dawn coming up over that fabulous blue and white ocean spray. The message was still with me, but it was as if the vision had never been. It was only a faded feeling that was going fast; going with the last shades of night.

Will Heaven be that way? I believe so… All of life's sorrows will fade as quickly, and we'll be left basking in the light of the Son.