There is a line in the Book of Common Prayer that has been catching my attention for weeks now. It comes at the end of the Venite:
For he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand
Oh, that today you would hearken to his voice.
I have been wondering, "What is that voice?" And as I thought about it this morning, I had the most amazing vision. I saw a pillar, like a Greco-Roman style pillar, of bright white light with blue, pink, red, yellow, and orange moving around it. It was rotating quickly like a tornado... only it wasn't a funnel, it was really a pillar. And it stretched from the earth to the sky... and beyond. And I wondered, "Is this the Holy Spirit? Or the Trinity? Or is this just Is?" The more I watched this rotating pillar the more I became aware of the earth as a "footstool" I wasn't afraid of this vision, but I definitely felt spellbound as I stayed with it until I felt moved to go on and continue with the rest of the readings.
Today, we had the story of the apostles, rabble-rousing ragtag bunch that they were, getting spirited (literally) out of jail and going back to the Temple to continue talking about Jesus as the Messiah. This is NOT going over well with the authorities. But a man named Gamaliel steps up and warns the Temple crowd to leave them alone... and let them keep talking and teaching about Jesus. As he points out, there had been others who preached... but their movements died off with them. And he suggests the same could happen with the apostles. And if it doesn't, then the apostles really are 'of God' and woe onto anyone who tries to stop them from doing God's will on earth as it is in heaven.
What does this have to do with my pillar vision? I had wondered about the voice: how will I recognize it? The answer I felt I was getting from both the vision and then later with this lesson in Acts is that the voice will make itself known to me, and when it does, I will see it. What is really required of me is trust that God will reveal God's voice and, going back to Isaiah, when I turn to the right and when I turn to the left I will hear a word behind me saying, 'This is the way. Walk in it'. I must trust that God knows my questions, knows my doubts, has heard what I have asked for, and will light the way to my understanding. I know to a rational mind this sounds a little whacky, but there it is... my theology as of June 23, 2009.
Listen. Listen. Listen.