Wednesday, March 04, 2009

glimpses of the eternal

I just had one of those profound experiences that leaves me...well...a little shaken or possibly a little more awakened. Angels? God? What is this power that surrounds us in the world? Do our ancestors and those that have “crossed over” come back to visit? To remind us? Yesterday was the anniversary of my co-worker Allyson’s death. She would have been thirty-five years old on Friday. Yesterday as I was standing in the lobby of the school reading the memorial plaque for Allyson, I turned my head and saw her walking toward me. It really took me off guard for a moment until I realized it was another young woman who attends the school. I have seen her before and each time I was shaken as I thought it was Allyson. Is it coincidence that I saw her at that exact moment yesterday?

I had a similar occurrence happen to me on Monday in nearly the same place when a woman I have never seen before walked by and caught my eye. It jolted me because I felt that I knew her. Then when I looked again - and she continued to hold my gaze - I realized she looked very similar to my friend, Dawn who died of cancer a couple of years ago…So, back to this morning’s moment. I had just finished doing some morning readings and was copying off a document I did not want to forget. My Bible tipped open and there was the bulletin from Dawn’s memorial service. There were those eyes looking into mine that I had looked into on Monday. Inside the bulletin I noticed the exact date of her death, March 2, Monday’s date.

The enormity and the mystery of these two events brings tears to my eyes. They remind me of how little I (we) know about the mystery of the universe. I am humbled and awed by this being/energy/person I call God. He is not tangible and of course He is. I cannot see Her face and yet I see it every day. I cannot feel those arms around me and yet they are here now. The mystery is astonishing. My journey has only begun and yet I feel like it has already lasted an eternity.

If I were to go looking for Allyson or Dawn today, I probably would not find them. Is that how it is with God? My prayer is that during this season of Lent (this season of life) I will at least make room and be open to the possibility that God will show up. The truth is that it usually happens in the most unexpected of places like standing in the lobby of a busy school or shuffling around in the papers on my bed. May I be open to the mystery today – and tomorrow – and always. May you too.

I am curious, of course…have you had similar experiences of the eternal? Where do you see the face of God? How and when do you feel the arms around you?

photos taken @ musee d'orsay 3.08


Danny said...

Well Lucy I'll tell you a weird thing I was just catching up on your blog today and discovered that we both posted reflections on the same quotation on the same day and my reflection was about an experience of the eternal!

Dianna Woolley said...


Bravo - I believe "the visits" are real, I believe when one is searching for God, one finds God, and not in something supernatural but in a moment, easily missed, unless one's radar for God is switched on!! I believe your experiences probably made the "ping" sound on your screen - you knew they happened but they were gone so fast and so coincidentally that they took your breath away - again, Bravo for your catching the glimpse!

Barbara said...

Those seem like moments out of time, wandering in the thin spaces. I am not so aware (or not so gifted) with such experiences. When I have what I believe to be an experience of God, it usually happens during a time of retreat or in prayer.
You know, we inherited this cosmology about heaven being "up there". Well maybe it is here on earth, but in another dimension kinda.
Perhaps it is from Julian of Norwich that I learned God is so much closer to us than we imagine -- like the clothing we wear or the air in which we swim.

Geezer Dude said...

The book, "Same Kind of Different as Me," shares stories of encounters with God by contemporary people. They had eyes to see and ears to hear. Their attentiveness to the revelations changed the lives of many for the better.

I found it a tale worth reading, contemplating, and sharing.

I experienced an "encounter" about a year ago, as I lay alone in a dark, quiet hospital room recovering from a serious infection. I felt a warmth and peace that is rare for me. It felt like God enfolding me with the arms, thoughts, prayers, and love of His people. It moved me enough that I testified of the experience in front of a few hundred people. I urged them to offer, and accept, the love of God as manifested in His people on earth. I share the testimony here, encouraging readers to have the eyes to see and ears to hear when God makes a special revelation.

lucy said...

danny--i am so grateful that you commented on my blog. i loved re-reading the merton quote (it was a great reminder to me)...and i totally love the serendipitous connection of our two posts.

those moments that "God passes by" remind me of my own desire to be awake and open to them. i also wonder how many of them i miss on probably pretty regular basis!

SS--keeping the radar up for God moments becomes so much easier with practice...although as i mentioned to Danny i have a feeling that many more are happening all of the time that may go unnoticed.

Barbara--it was once i decided to view "heaven on earth" that my spirituality started to feel much more connected.

i read a quote yesterday that i can't put my hands on right now, but it spoke of listening & feeling those "out of time moments" as something that can only be uncovered or rediscovered...because it is always there and cannot be taught any more than breathing can.

welcome back, geezer--obviously this post struck a chord that called you out of silence...and i am glad it did. i am not familiar with "same kind of different as me" but it sounds like something i might enjoy. i know others have those experiences but sometimes in the sharing i become aware of how many people do not allow themselves to feel the presence of that which is barbara said "like the clothing we wear or the air in which we swim."

much gratitude to each of you for your thoughtful commentary!