LIVING AS APPRENTICES
I hope you have experienced the “bright moments” of “getting” more than we understand described below by Kayla McClurg, from The Church of the Saviour, as she writes about Matthew 17: 1-9:
“We see more than we realize we are seeing. Even as we bumble along, cracking our head on our low ceilings of spiritual understanding, we are in the midst of the More. You could call it the Peter-James-and-John syndrome, these bright moments when we “get” more than we understand. Unable to be expressed, most likely, but there it is, a sudden gripping of spirit, a lightness of being, an inner stirring or shift, and we find ourselves on unfamiliar ground, jostled out of old thoughts, facing the new.
Sometimes such moments come in heightened joy, but not always. One came, for me, yesterday in the home of a friend who had died unexpectedly in July and whose sister invited me to join her as his apartment was now being emptied of his earthly belongings. Nothing unusual; just another uphill climb. Yet also, something more—a quickening of spirit, loss shining bright, holy wonder. More is happening than what seems to be happening. Transfiguration abounds. Glory lies layered, waiting for us beneath the surface, longing for us to quiet down and see. Not to build something. Not to plan and think and organize our way to meaning, but to stop talking, to fall on our faces and listen. To be quiet is to make space for awe and wonder. We see many fantastic things in our lives but we are quite apt to miss out on the awe. Awe calls us into the cloud of not knowing for sure, of letting go of control. Stop climbing higher. You are already where holy is. Fall into it. Enter the silence.
Few are the willing pilgrims into this inner desert. Few have the courage to see beneath the surface, and to let Jesus be who Jesus is. No, Peter, we will not be building a monument. We will not memorialize what lives eternally among us. We will just come down now from our pedestals of knowing. We will make more space for God to be God.”
P.S. I am now recalling that L’Engle was indebted to Wordsworth for the phrase ” Trailing Clouds of Glory…” Ah, the blessings bestowed by Wordsmiths.
The MORE that you and McClurg describe reminds me of the title of a book by Madeleine L’Engle, “Trailing Clouds of Glory: Spiritual Values in Children’s Literature”. Isn’t that title beautiful? I love that phrase…it was brought to my mind when I read your exquisite words, ” Glory lies layered, waiting for us beneath the surface”…
Once again, thank you, Karen.