Sunday, August 8, 2010
... hear His voice
It never ceases to amaze me - tucked in here and there - in the most unexpected places - one stumbles over the fact that He has always desired to reveal Himself to us.
Moreover, this revealing is quite often to the unimportant, insignificant, no-name no-power folks in society.
Case in point: a few weeks ago I was finishing reading a historical novel about, as it turns out, a key figure in the linage of kings and queens of England.
There it was, tucked into the last quarter or so of a very long book. A simple person is brought into the story - one to whom He had revealed Himself. Surprisingly, a woman - not a man, nor priest, nor bishop or pope. Not even to a king or prince - or princess. Her name was Julian - Julian of Norwich.
In England in the 1400's, He visited Julian in order that she might know Him - not as the religion of the day portrayed Him. The religion of pilgrimages to various shrines to pray to whatever relic was being touted - maybe a little toe bone of saint so-and-so, or a vial of the milk of Mary, or a thorn from the crown given to Jesus, or a splinter from the spear of the Roman soldier.
He cut through all that and spoke to her of His great love for His creation. He made Himself known as Love - pure and simple and true.
It was a time of believing God was distant and very angry with folks. A time that believed He had to be appeased in any way possible - the longer and more difficult the pilgrimage, the better. The more money given to the shrine keepers, the better.
It was a time of fear of excommunication and damnation. A time which did not know - nor even consider - that Father just might not be as religion said. Oddly enough, and though it may look a little different, we have many similar beliefs and practices today regarding God.
Father made Himself known to this woman - this humble person. She, in turn, shared this with Catherine - the key person in the English king/queen linage.
Catherine was in the most devastated place of her life with no hope on the horizon. Among other very difficult circumstances, she had suffered the loss of a child, for which she blamed herself. Catherine made a pilgrimage of many weeks by herself to a shrine. Having received no answer to her prayer of help for her child, she attempted suicide. In the midst of attempting suicide, a man of the cloth rescued and introduced her to Julian. Time spent with Julian made all the difference.
Time spent learning Him - made all the difference.
Whether this actually happened - whether Catherine met Julian - I don't know for sure. That is not really the point.
The point is that, throughout all the years and centuries, there have been folks who heard Him - mostly in a way that cut right across the practices and teachings of the day.
There have always been those who would hear...
There still are those who hear...
and pay heed.