The Backside of God's Glory
"There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever."
- Revelation 22:5
"No one looks for stars when the sun's out..."
I have these moments where I long for the presence of God in my life so deeply that it's hard to breathe. I know that sounds kind of odd, but it's true. I want to know more, to feel more, to understand more of God more and more all of the time.
I catch myself wishing that there was a rift between whatever dimension we happen to be living in at the moment and the one where God exists in God's fullness. I just want a glimpse, just a glimpse of what it must be like there.
Heaven, at least in my humble opinion, isn't somewhere up there. Heaven is just on the other side of here. God is all around us, in us and through us, but we struggle to experience God because of the limitations of our sight.
But just because I can't see heaven doesn't mean it isn't there.
I wonder sometimes if God shields us from whatever is on the other side of here because we can't handle it's awesomeness. There's a story in the Bible that describes this kind of thing. In the book of Exodus, Moses is on top of Mt. Sinai receiving the law when he asks God, "Show me your glory."
As presumptuous as this might seem, God grants Moses his wish but he tells him that if he experienced the fullness of God's glory, it would be the end of him (I like to imagine what happened to the guys at the end of the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie when the Nazis opened up the Ark of the Covenant.).
So God shields Moses from the fullness of his glory, by putting him in a cave of sorts and only letting Moses see his "back parts." And even that little bit of God's glory made Moses glow like he had walked through Chernobyl or 3 Mile Island. He was glowing so fierce when he came down the mountain that he had to put something over his face not to freak out the people of Israel.
Wouldn't it be amazing, to experience God so intensely that you couldn't stop glowing afterward? Would people stop you on the street to take selfie's with you because you were radiating warm and incredible light? I bet they would.
Maybe, and this is probably even more likely, the evidence of God's glory, the "backside" of God, so to speak, is all around us all of the time, but we're so distracted and messed up we have a hard time getting close enough to pick up some of the glow.
Seriously, this world is full of some unbelievable beauty, incredible creativity, fantastic joy and people that make your heart ache. How is that not evidence of God's glory? How can that not make you glow with a joyful radiant light that can illuminate all manner of darkness?
It could be (and this is probably not that big of a stretch) that there are rifts between here and there, and we can catch glimpses of what it's like where God is. Maybe those moments are when we experience sacrificial love, true beauty, unmitigated kindness, relentless mercy and sweet, amazing grace.
I believe when we draw close to those moments--those burning bushes in our midst--I am convinced the light created from them shines on us, and makes us brighter. And isn't that the point? Didn't Jesus call his followers "the light of the world?"
May you be illuminated by the evidence of the Divine all around you today and every day of your life. May you seek beauty and truth and justice and find the rifts between here and there in the midst of them. May you glimpse glory and let it brighten you like a torch that burns solely to shine the way to Christ.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.