Monday, August 10, 2009

Sometimes You See Stuff


As I said last week, I believe that hearing The Voice, or experiencing a sudden flash of insight or intuition is a fairly common experience. Most everyone can tell the story of a hunch, a feeling, an impulse that led to some great opportunity or other. An odd thing about the experience is that you can only see it in retrospect. And if you try to anticipate the encounter- catch a glimpse of the wheels of fate in action, it becomes invisible.

So when I got out of the hospital, and wrote the narrative of my adventure in the cardiac ward I made a point of noting that I had not experienced any sort of luminous moment, no angelic visitors, no sudden spiritual awakening, or anything like that. It was sort of disappointing.

It just took time to digest the experience. Throughout the whole episode, from the moment I collapsed in the emergency room to the time they released me, a little over forty eight hours later, I had an odd, and almost annoying sort of tic running like a soundtrack through my thoughts: "I wonder who made that machine? Who drew the plans for this room? Someone sat at a drafting table, or a CAD screen, and created the layout for those circuit boards. Someone planned out the wiring and installed those electrical fixtures. Someone laid the tile, hauled the concrete, broke the earth to lay the foundation of this place. This hospital where these people are saving my life. The tens of thousands of businesses that create the tools that enable them to do so..." and on, and on. If I saw a picture on the wall I was reminded that someone painted it; someone made the frame...
And the vision expanded until I saw that the entire miracle that is Western Civilization is the compounded effort of countless ordinary people getting up and going to ordinary jobs. It is the will of God that life should flourish. Holy is the work done toward that end. And who can deny that life flourishes in this place? For all its microcosmic faults, the overwhelming balance is abundant Good. We here are so richly blessed.

Now as I look back on it I have to laugh at myself a little. I had The Voice shouting in my ear while I was busy listening for the voice. I was so busy watching for angels that I didn't see the vision. At least not until some days later. Not until the shock of the whole event had begun to wear off. The immediate details of the tests, the procedures, the pain, all faded pretty quickly. But the memory of that odd mental chatter, and the vision it pointed to, remained clear.

JWM

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