I would like to return to my diary at this point in my posts. While this blog, Travels of a New Christian, will delve into many matters, the constant impetus that drives my discourse on subjects is clearly the chronological events that took place from January 13, 2009, through today, and beyond; and so I regress to 2009.
I had, as one could imagine, many questions and thoughts regarding what had taken place in my life; God’s intervention, and the dramatic and sudden transformation of that life into something that few people did not recognize; and either marveled at it, was quite confused by it, of simply thought I was acting a bit unusual for someone they had seen so steady for so many years. I certainly gave most of my family and friends the opportunity to hear all about it. I was not shy on this matter. I needed people to know what had taken place, and I needed them to know that God was real.
Part of what drove me forward with my spreading of the ‘good news’ (I had not read but a book or two from the New Testament, so I knew not what I was spreading) were the questions I had; both as to the nature of God, and to what I was experiencing as this new disciple. Searching out the nature of God was a matter that drove me to look in all directions without exclusion to any. It was more like fishing with a great net rather than with a baited hook. All things in my throw were caught, examined for some purpose, released or consumed. I left few experiences without categorization; like the librarian codifying the library books, publications, and audio/visual materials. Some experiences, though, remained obscure; hopefully to be understood at a later time. Two such things were of particular interest to me, and I would find out later, they were inextricably linked together.
As I consumed knowledge and spent increasing time doing so, I had the concern as to where this would all lead in the future. How much time and how much knowledge was enough? Was there a destination to all of this; a goal? Where was this to level off? I was looking at this as a matter of buoyancy or that good measure of my life given over to His purpose. Was Sunday service enough? Was I to find myself a monk in the not too distant future? I remember quite well asking myself and others the following question. “How deep is deep?”
For me, it was an odd question because it had implications of a spatial experience more so than a quantitative or qualitative measure. I’d ask the question and what I’d get back was always quantitative or qualitative; not experiential, and yet that seemed to be what I was looking for.
Over the next year, I was also had a recurring dream. It was always the same and always elicited the same feelings of mystery and contradiction. The setting was water; deep and dark water. While expecting the normalcy of seas, where life abounds with fish and mammal, and the water is rich with plankton and seaweed, this sea was without apparent life on any kind, and the nature of the water was pure and clear. It felt like a great, green sea whose mass was beyond spatial limitations. The clarity of the darkness was as if light radiated from it and not through it. There was no up or down.
I saw myself there in this sea; in this deep. I was without goggle, tank, fins or even snorkel, but rather swimming slowly through the weight of the water; sensing some plasma or pneuma that my arms and legs pulled slowly through. Most curious to me (I have always been fully conscious of my dreams and can always remark on what I am experiencing) was that I felt no urge or need to breathe; I was just there, in the deep. I appeared to radiate my own light, or more accurately, it was as if illumination just surrounded me. I knew I would not drown, nor any evil befall me. I sensed peace, safety and life. I also knew I was not alone.
The dreams were always the same, always to the point, and short. With no body of knowledge about things of God, I had not even the thought that this dream was showing me something of God. I left them alone for some time, actually about two years, until I read a pastor’s sermon online, and came across a reference to the word “Tehom”, or the “deep”, and Genesis 1:2. This caught my mind in revelation for it began to congeal an answer to my unfolding question, “How deep is deep?” and it brought my mind back to my dreams.
I always marvel at people’s interpretations of God’s Word and action in their lives. By that I mean, “With some respect and suspect”. But here I was; a word was being given to me and it was just clear enough to continue the pursuit. What had led me from, “How deep is deep?” to the recurring dream of the sea without top or bottom? I do believe that God was showing me His Deep or Tehom before creation, as it is written in Genesis 1:2, but for what purpose?
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.
So as of yesterday, as I was preparing my notes for this post, I had no real idea if I would solve the mystery; that of the question and the dream. I just felt it was time to write this one in faith. In my gathering of notes and final internet searches I came across an obscure journal, The Biblical World; a collection of fifty-four volumes published from 1893 to 1920. In November 1910, Volume 36, No. 5, pages 329-333, there is a short essay titled, The Yahweh-Tehom Myth, by A.E. Whatham. I had not read this document before and thought it provident that I do so before this writing. The knowledge I gained has permitted me some, and only some, resolution to my mystery, and has brought me full around to the vision I wrote about in, God’s Work & My Work, as well as to the image of the shore in my birth of the spirit, My Testimony of the Birth of My Spirit.
For those who know not of this myth of the Babylonian epic of creation in detail and its interesting similarities to the Hebrew story of creation, I’ll not get into these similarities here, but in reading this archeological discovery, the Enuma Elish, that considerably predates Hebrew scripture, I could not help but come away with several aids in my search for a resolution to my mystery.
There is enough writing in the Hebrew scriptures, a few mentions in the New Testament, especially Revelation, to establish the fact that the sea is an indomitable and raging force; a force that prior to man, was God’s greatest creation. As the Deep, it was before creation, and it was boundless.
Here is Job’s recognition of the nature of the sea as being supremely powerful; that which must be bound by God in order to prevent it from flowing over His imminent creation of earth and submerging the mountains. The deep embodies the turbulence of the processes of God’s creation; its past influences on the present, its present actions that bind and loose the future, and the future that comes with final decree to all things. And like the great sea, this ‘time’ that God has created rolls over like waves, folding in upon themselves and pushing outward to swell and flow without boundary; its forces monumental. Time moves on, with the powers of good and evil surging for primacy.
And God set His boundary not with the rock cliff, but with sand; penetrable and malleable, with each grain unique and independent, yet when wielded by the power of God, sand can bind the waters of the deep as God sees fit. He has given much responsibility to sand; perhaps to man.
Hear this, O foolish and senseless people, who have eyes, but do not see, who have ears, but do not hear. Do you not fear me? says the Lord; do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as a boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail, though they roar, they cannot pass over it.
The sand is God’s choice of boundary for the great turbulence and power of the deep. It is that created force of God’s that He has brought forth to subject the earth to His will; to shepherd the subjected, and foster a world through the ages; ready for its eschatological future. The sand of my vision is mankind; formed from the dust.
And so it was in the early morning of January that I had found the shore of my salvation, and one week later that I awoke upon a shoreline of sand; at the edge of the sea, the deep, and on a shore of pure sand infinitely running along the boundary of the sea. I was born not of the spirit – something I knew had taken place the week earlier – but in the real world; the one I was to take part in. God placed me on that sand boundary to declare that I am that sand; not the grain that is of no consequence and without purpose, but rather that grain that is part of God’s greatest purpose; for mankind to shepherd His earth. Like the sand, mankind is pliable, yet also resilient to the greatest of forces that exist in this world. And like the sand, it is through the filtering and shifting of mankind from one generation to the next, that mankind is that one God-created force that can bind the world and shepherd it to God’s purpose.
While this analogy of the deep as the world forces that God calls us to control, and the sands, the binder of those world forces, as mankind, it is just that; an analogy. What I do believe God has shown me through my visions is that the task He has given mankind is greater than tending solely to the physical needs of His creation and flock of humanity. We must strongly look to the spiritual needs.
When looking at this globally, we see that there needs to be a spiritual overlay; a moral definition by which all of mankind – of all nations and persuasions – may find a relevancy through its inclusive nature that will draw us all to God’s common purpose. Jesus Christ is that moral definition and spiritual overlay, but only in our focusing upon His inclusive nature. Our inclination to the exclusivity of our faith has its limitations, and we protect our limitations too much with our pride and our law. In so doing, we divide and conquer, but will never unite. Our efforts to unify humanity must be generational, as time is generational, and to do that mankind must subjugate himself and seek the willingness that lies within us all as our common bond. Then we will be of one body and sand.
Sit at the sea’s edge for a few minutes to watch the sea push and pull at the sands, and the sands ever-shifting to accommodate and withstand the sea, and you cannot help but some away with a sense of peace, security and an acceptance of willingness. If we could all but take that quality with us throughout each day, we could do much for the world.
Thanks to NNAUHPRX4PQR