Summer Solstice Redux
Today I went back to the archives for this encore devo. I've updated it a bit because this was written before my mother's death, and I've learned a few things since then...
When I was a kid, summer was like magic. During those summers long ago, I would wake up in the morning with a rush of possibility. There would be this fierce sense of joy that would fill my chest as I contemplated the day to come.
And those days would last so long, wouldn't they? When I was young I wanted to wring every bit of adventure out of those summer days and nights. I would stay outside as long as I could---until it was almost too dark to see.
One memory seems to stand out for me today--it's one that I've brought to mind over and again throughout my life.
In my mind's eye, I can see myself at age 10, catching fireflies with my cousins in the gathering South Carolina dusk. My parents are young--younger than I am now. My mother, grandmother, four uncles, and my aunt are alive and laughing.
It was a holy moment, and it is a gift to be able to recall it with such vivid detail. It fills me with all kinds of wishes and longings, sadness and joy. It's how I know it is eternal---heaven is made of such memories.
In the New Testament, there is a Greek word that gets used to describe holy time: the word kairos. This word speaks of the "fullness of time," or a moment when the space between this world and the next becomes thin enough to actually feel the presence of God.
There's a heaviness that comes with that feeling. The air is thicker. Time seems to slow. You feel a rush of possibility--a fierce sense of joy. The ancient Hebrew people described this as the kavod or the "heaviness" of God's glory.
Frederick Buechener spoke of this once when he wrote of a similar experience:
"It was not much and lasted only for a moment before it was gone. But it happened--this glimpse of something dimly seen, dimly heard, this sense of something deeply hidden."This week we are experiencing the longest days of the year--days that you can fill with joy and possibility. May you spend these days searching for the thin places where you feel God's glory. May you have glorious moments of kairos time with friends and loved ones.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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