Wednesday, July 22, 2015

See and Hear the Lord

By Beth DeCristofaro

On the morning of the third day there were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.But Moses led the people out of the camp to meet God, and they stationed themselves at the foot of the mountain.  Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke, for the LORD came down upon it in fire.  (Exodus 19:16-18)

This is why I speak to them in parables, because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand. Isaiah’s prophecy is fulfilled in them, which says:   “You shall indeed hear but not understand, you shall indeed look but never see.  Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes, lest they see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and be converted and I heal them.”  (Matthew 13: 13-15)

When I am blown away by a song’s lyrics
or my heart flips at a colorful phrase,
may I thank Poetry for arousing in me
that naked touch of paradise, and you.
  (A Book of Wonders by Ed Hays)

Today would have been my brother Mike’s 58th birthday.  Instead his first and only heart attack killed him 21 years ago at age 37.  Medically we know what caused his death.  The mystery is the “why” would someone come and go so quickly from life.  Mystery is everywhere in life.  Natural disasters, random shootings, paralyzing accidents, tear-inducing music, and breathtaking sunrises leave us with questions although “explanations” abound.   Even with the marvels being revealed through quantum physics and brain imaging open ever new mysteries. Among the most astounding is that God entered this world of limits and spoke with us in the desert of the Sinai, walked the lands of Galilee and blew into the hearts of all His friends to the ends of the earth. 

Now Mike was a pretty practical, “don’t try to impress me” kind of guy.  I think, though, that even he would have been awed, perhaps fallen to his knees at the sight of Mt Sinai belching lava.  He certainly might have argued with Jesus or perhaps he instead would have privately turned away to mull Jesus’ words over and over in his heart.  Even 2,000 years after our Lord and 3,000+ years after the time of Moses, when God has been revealing Himself to us repeatedly we still don’t always “hear” or “see” the “why”.  But we’ve been given the “Yes” by the saving life and death of Jesus.  As a wise young woman recently said on the anniversary of her own brother’s death:  “We should consider this his feast day because on that day he met God face to face.”  Mike, happy feast day, Brother.

My brother and I did not always see eye to eye.  Looking back I cannot pinpoint our frustrating differences.  What mystery can I consider today, not asking for the answer but pondering the “why” and seeking God’s voice and touch upon me through it?

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