This past week we’ve been reflecting together on who reveals God to us. Who manifests God’s divine presence to us in those epiphanic moments of encounter? Of course God can do that as God so wills, and we’ve explored the Trinitarian mystery of God’s personage here. I’ve made a sustained (certainly) and hopefully compelling (rein that in boy!) presentation that concentric circles of those whom God places in our lives, and those we find in more intentional ways, also reveal and manifest God in our lives. This trajectory is all about the who. Today, come with me to the where!
Being corporeal, location matters. We can, currently, only be in one place at one moment. Until we shake ourselves free from this carbon-shackled existence we call physicality, and I have no plans to upload myself into a silicon-based avatar or digital storage matrix anytime soon, we are bound to encounter God within the confines of this world. So dear readers, not to be too forward, but….my place or yours?! Where have you, where do you, where would you like to be when God manifests? My place first, then? Okee dokee….
WATER. Oceans, beaches, lakes, rivers, streams, creeks, springs, rivulets…anywhere where that crisp fresh water shimmers across the surface while revealing tantalizing crystal-clear details below. Alternatively, anywhere featuring cerulean or azure salt water undulating under a luminescent late afternoon sun. I’ve always felt close to God anywhere near water, and the few moments throughout my entire life I have known true physical union with God have all included floating, suspended and uplifted, in water.
ISLANDS. Born on a peninsula mimicking an island, descended from forebears on both family tree branches from an island, this one is also easy to get. Keys, Caribbean, Mediterranean, not yet Hawaii but maybe someday. Being surrounded by water is completely revelatory for me, always.
WILDERNESS. Yeah, weird, right? The native Floridian in ethereal desolation baking in oven-hot temperatures. Judean. Sinai. South central Utah. The wilderness’ charism always seems to focus me, rather immediately, upon clear issues like survival, shelter, water, food. The Wilderness suffers no luxuries and certainly no fools, but I resonate deeply with the landscape which stripes away any distractions from a powerful encounter with God.
CHURCHES. Sure, predictable enough but still true. I love all sizes, shapes, styles and ages. Anywhere dedicated to divine worship will orient my entire body to God instantly. Have you ever noticed how instinctively you and everyone around you change tonal quality, volume and body awareness upon entering a church, cathedral, chapel or shrine? Not everyone’s cup of tea but monasteries and convents fall here for me also.
THE HOLY LAND, ALL OF IT. SCOTLAND TOO. ‘Nuff said.
These are my places. But far more importantly, where are your places?! Where have you met up with the Lord? Where are you open, available, undistracted and unbunched up spiritually? Because, in the end, frankly, all these are neither my place nor your place actually! There are all God’s places, and all plus so many more are potential divine-us epiphanic intersections. God’s world God’s way dear readers, but it helps to know what works best for you!!
- GO NOW. Not physically, but reflectively and perhaps photonically. Take some dedicated prayer time to visit by reflection whatever place holds a past or present Epiphany moment for you and God. By photonic I mean by all means use all this wonderful technology to help get there reflectively. Visuals by website work just fine!
- GO SOON. I cannot imagine a more compelling plan of hope to combat this pandemic than planning now to actually go to one or more of these climes or locales as soon as possible. Those like me are energized by making plans for which I look forward to fulfilling. Others wait for the right moment…as you wish! But why not get the motivating planning/exploration/Triptik going now?!
- GO NEW. So many options, some more natural as I suggest above, and others more manufactured like churches. Vive la difference! C’est tres bon! Stretch yourself a bit to explore a new place. As we open back up (please Lord), a mini-pilgrimage planned to any site near or far might help us learn to be out with others once again. If you need suggestions please let me know!