Measuring Myself Against the Stars

            When I attended MorningStar School of Ministry in North Carolina they trained us in our spiritual gifts or spiritual senses. I learned of prophecy, intercession, and healing as the eyes of my heart grew increasingly more sensitive to, “… the radiant book” of the world around me.[1]  Stratford Caldecott wrote in his book, Beauty for Truth’s Sake, “…every created thing can be seen as a manifestation of it’s own interior essence, and the world is transformed into a radiant book to be read with eyes sensitive to spiritual light.”[2] To look upon the essence of anything is to look with the eyes of the poet or philosopher. To have our eyes sensitized to spiritual light requires empirical insights generated by careful, patient observation. This is the slow adjustment of the eye as it wakes from dark slumber and adjusts to the full light of day. This illuminates all the symbols and images which are but shadows of the archetype- reflections of a greater light, mere movements in an unending symphony. When ministering to an individual I learned to tune my ear to the unending symphony. The music God put in them when he created them and invited them into the dance of life. To effectively relate the heart of God to another human heart requires heart. Nothing is more palpable then revelation of God’s love to a human heart in the language of the love song he sang over them in their conception. I want his heart song to me, I want to hear it because it exists and at times I do hear it in the sound of my wife’s voice or in deeply stirring poetry or scripture. I want to be stirred, I want to listen and I want to be heard.

            Everyone wants to hear from God and so they would come for prayer and ministry. At this particular school we had booths set up after meetings where people could come to receive prophetic ministry. After praying for the person and reminding them to take whatever we said before the Lord in prayer, we would begin to tell them what we felt God was putting on our heart for them. The results were astonishing. The key to prophesying was to be in tune and to have my spiritual eyes open. Often times when giving someone a word of knowledge or encouragement a picture would come into my mind requiring some translation on God’s part. Sometimes it was just their name that would spark the conflagration in my spirit and suddenly I could see by the fire of God’s illuminating love for the person in front of me some aspect of their heart he wanted to bless or encourage. It was in the light of his love for them that their inner essence or beauty would be made visible. In the darkness of the sin and shame that we all carry with us it is difficult to sift through the mire of the marred images people present. But when we stop and center our attention and affections on God’s heart, his light is made manifest and in that light is the truth of who we really are and who he is. In that dichotomy powerful and life altering encouragement takes place. Often time’s people have trouble seeing the goodness of their own heart or the rightness of their actions and it requires another soul, seeing through the eyes of their heart, to illumine the truth. It is invisible to them. “The spiritual senses are the power through which “love quest after the invisible.”[3]

            I remember praying for one young woman and immediately saw a purple violet in a garden and felt like this is how God looked at her. When I told her what I saw she immediately broke into joyous tears because that was her favorite flower and it held great significance between her and God. As our eyes are trained to discern the gestalt of the symbols around us we come to see every human heart as, “… the marriage of the particular and the universal” and we see with renewed minds (Romans 12:2) and sensitive eyes how every living soul has a song of praise to lift up in the grand hallelujah before the throne.  As Guenon wrote, “… all things are linked and correspond with each other so that they join together in a universal and total harmony which is like a reflection of the Divine Unity itself.”[4] Such a unity exists in our worship be it through song or service or quiet contemplation. What we perceive with the eyes of our poetic imagination is more real then the busy and bustling city streets that drive our lives. When we look behind the curtain and pass beyond the veil we are ushered into a world where symbol meets archetype in the great crescendo of creative imagination as goodness, beauty, and truth are woven together as the three interlocking, harmonious, and vital notes of “the music of the spheres” resounding with a triumphant AMEN to all that God has done, is doing and will ever do.[5]

            To be so connected to the Divine, to be interwoven into his eternal song is the souls undoing. As I reflect on the enormity of it all I am undone and all my parts are scattered to the far reaches of the cosmos even as they are held secure in the infinite and patient hands of the one who holds all things together in his perfect love. This is freedom. To lose my life that I may find it. To lift my voice that I may join the raucous chorus of life. Walt Whitman asked,

 

The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

                                       Answer.

That you are here—that life exists and identity,

That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

           

       I agree with Walt and I want to contribute my verse; I want to lift up my voice in the raucous chorus of life. Amid all the darkness there is one bright facet glimmering at dawn in the subtle happenings of hope’s ceaseless song as it rises in the echo chambers of love lost and far-flung, rushing past idols deaf and dumb to the throne of God. The presence of God is where we find our strength. The song of the Lord is where we hear our names. The face of Christ is where we meet ourselves for the first time in the brotherhood of mankind. All these powerful and real encounters give us strength to carry on. As marriages fail we find love and friendship, in the wake of wars we uncover hope from the human rubble and in the face of whatever evil is thrown in our face we persevere because of the eternal symphony in our hearts and the love of God which brings to light the truth that makes us free. His word to me has always been and will always be – love.

 

My verse…

            During my lunch break Monday as I was reading the myriad of articles for this class I became severely flusterbated (my word). Although I love everything I am reading I could make no coherence of everything I was cramming into my mind. I soon realized that I needed to push all the paper aside and allow my inner calm to emerge in some poetic flare. This is what transpired…

 

consonance

 

in all the great cosmos

exists an order

visible yet unseen

crowned with brilliance

from sphere to sphere

extending everywhere

the scepter of truth

the deep longings of my human heart

attest to the fact

that if the world disappeared

i would want it back

not for the comfort of my home

but for the chance to gaze into the heavens

as they rush my soul

with divine turbulence

echoing the eternal promise

that in the vastness of infinite space

i am known

 

 

from the beginning of all beginnings

 

ancient fire

from which all fires spread

flames leaping and dancing

from one generation to the next

an inexorable movement

where father breathes into sand

imparts to me the secret

and is blown into the wind

i am left with the sense

of entanglement

in the unfolding fraternity of man

from which i accept his truth

as i raise my hands

 

         Imagine my surprise to read these words as I picked up Caldecotts book after I wrote my poems. He wrote, “ Poetic intuition is knowledge by ‘connaturality’ or participation, that finds within the self something that corresponds to the object, thus leaping over the barrier between self and other. So a person gazing at the stars, even if he cannot measure them in the way demanded by scientific knowledge, may be led to a part of himself in which those great distances and holy fires are felt to exist and possess a meaning.” [6] I will now leap over the barrier between self and other and shout my barbaric YALP (another word from Walt) to the heavens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


[1] Stratford Caldecott, Beauty for Truth’s Sake: On the Re-enchantment of Education (Grand Rapids: Brazo Press, 2009), 48.

 [2] Ibid.

 3] H.S. Horton-Parker, Orthopathy and the Spiritual Senses: Seeing with the Eye of the Heart, (Bb) accessed May 13, 2012.

 [4] Caldecott, 48.

 [5] Ibid, 29.

[6] Caldecott, 44. 

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