Friday, February 21, 2020

Vision in the Haze

Some people are so clear on their communication with God. I used to feel inadequate. Now I’m wary. Revelation should be the result of discernment...and downright wrestlin’. 

For example, the current intersection of politics and faith in America is choking on certitude but totally lacking discernment. 

In reading about Moses theophanies in Exodus - the burning bush, the Ten Commandments - I realized that when Moses talked with God there was smoke and fog. Even though he heard the voice of God, I’m thinking there was greater discernment required than the Bible stories suggest. After all, Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai (and Jesus was forty days in the wilderness.)

Biblical imagery for our cloudy vision varies. There’s a veil, mist, smoke, clouds, sometimes fire. Discernment requires cogitation. (I really like that word.) And while we cogitate our foremost prayer isn’t necessarily for answers. It’s for God’s illuminating, reassuring presence. 

Come near to God and he will come near to you. (James 4:8)

Creator God,

I want guidance,
a clear path.
You beckon from the mist.
Ambiguity persists.
Yet your presence 
is more than sufficient.

I want answers,
vision in this haze.
But you ask me to wait,
to cultivate patience 
and trust.
And your presence  
is more than sufficient.

I want a mountaintop high,
exhilarating, joyous.
But you come in a cloud
with calm and peace.
Your presence 
is more than sufficient.


My prayer was inspired by a Steve Garnaas-Holmes ( devotion in Disciplines:

Sometimes the clearest revelation we receive is that God walks with us in the dark, and we hear God breathing next to us. God offers no words, no thoughts, no stone tablets. Just a loving presence. And even in the dark that is enough.

Even as I seek God’s light to guide me, I pray for the faith to trust the mystery of God’s presence when the way is clouded and when the revelation itself is a mystery...

Photo: Clouds over the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock NC