an overwhelming of the senses....
I've been pondering something from Revelation 1 for the past two days, where John is at the very beginning of an encounter with someone he can only describe as 'like'. "Like a son of man"..."hair white like wool...eyes like blazing fire...". He goes on, only able to utter feeble comparisons, because Reality is beyond description.
John the Apostle was sentenced to exile, living out his days in seclusion because "of the Word of God and the testimony of Jesus" (Rev 1:9). While wandering the island, he hears a Voice. Again, we're reminded of his inability to accurately describe what he's sensing, but he calls it a Voice and attributes several sentences to that voice, so whatever form it takes, he's really hearing something.
In verse 12, he makes an offhanded comment that has escaped my eyes for years. "I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me." He didn't turn to see the face of the one speaking to him. He turned to see the Voice.
It makes me wonder what John's experience is here. You see faces. You hear voices. What is taking place that he turns to see a voice? The closest example I can think of is standing downstream of Niagra Falls and feeling the vibration before you hear or see the falls themselves...and something tells me that example is one John would have rolled his eyes at. No, you'd have to have heard it to have seen it....you'd have to have heard it to believe it.
Where is that crossover place where you are so overwhelmed that your senses began to bleed together and you see what you hear what you smell what you feel? Is there a reality in which all those things are one? Have we dumbed down our senses by exposing our hearts and minds to stimuli so minute that only one sense is needed to interpret it? Did you see that on TV last night? Did you hear that new cd? We think we've been overwhelmed by the depth of an artistic expression while in reality, we've positioned our hearts to expect stimuli so narrow that we can percieve as only one medium. I can imagine angels wondering "Why do they listen to music they can only hear?" Something tells me they're almost entirely ambivilant about what we watch on the tube.
I want an encounter with God that is so real that I can't subdivide it into my senses. I want his radical embrace, not a casual brushing by his shoulder while I reach for another hamburger. I'm sensing this morning that, for the most part, we're not ready to see Who We Have Not Heard. Look for The Voice today.
"I would have never seen it if I hadn't believed it." / yogi berra