It’s difficult for me to explain the religious aspects of my life to other people, people who don’t live it like I do. I have these two worlds: one shaded in colored pencil that is the real world for me, where normal people work and live, where ordinary things happen, like trips to the post office and bad break-ups. The other world is in pure Technicolor, bright greens and reds and yellows. God is everywhere and in everything, bursting out of the daisies, and crawling out of people’s eyes, like a diamond veneer that reflects every single ray of sunlight. This second world is the one that makes people catch me singing outside at the top of my lungs whenever I don’t notice that anyone is there, or makes me dance in public places when there isn’t any music. But these worlds are laid one over the other, and it is only with some great difficulty that I have managed to separate them in my mind. I have separated them because I have realized that nobody else seems to see this other, this Technicolor world. How could I turn to somebody and say, “The mountains are green, so very green, with the diamonds sparkling on them,” and expect to communicate to them at all? So I have to stop and separate my two worlds and say to my neighbor something along the lines of “My, I am in a really good mood today.” You get strange looks when you try to explain that, really, you do see a giant mountain set around the library, and that it is covered in diamonds that are reflecting and multiplying the greenness of the grass. They don’t see the hole that God has drilled between heaven and earth above the chapel and or the lakes of olive oil that are constantly pouring through there. They see a building with big windows, and a sky, and some clouds, and would probably think I’m crazy.
These two worlds fade back and forth between each other all the time. Sometimes the colored pencil world is the real one and the Technicolor world is a dream I dreamed a long time ago, and can’t remember all its parts. That’s when all my anger and boredom and self-pity and ual frustration and depression come out at me and try to strangle me. Then, with no real reason, the Technicolor world will take me over, and all I can see are the spiritual forces at work, and all I can hear is the voice of God, murmuring secret melodies in my ear. Then the drab mundane world is to me like so many stained glass windows—crystallized representations of things, and not the reality thereof. The light that shines through them shatters them, and my life is flooded with this blinding white light that washes away every hint of shadow. And then, sometimes, the both worlds are there together, at the same time, and I see everything two ways at once—and those are the times when I have difficulty explaining, separating the two.
God spoke to me today. I mean, really. Spoke to me. No, I didn’t hear a peal of thunder, and I wasn’t knocked off my horse and blinded. But walking back to my room from choir practice, and He was there. I can’t say it any better than that. Nothing was really any different, except that He was there. I could just tell. And over a period of two hours He was just more and more there every minute. The songs were welling up inside of me; all the lights were just a little bit brighter, and I could almost hear the choirs of angel voices singing. I went back to the chapel and did some work and then joined in, sort of spontaneously, with a worship team that was practicing songs for the service on Thursday. But eventually they were gone, and I was there alone, and He was there. Then I began to meet with him in earnest, reminding him, or (in the Technicolor way) he was reminding me, of all the things he was to me. He is Rapha, and Shalom, and Nissi—my healing, my peace, and my banner. He is the God who chases me, the God who remembers me, the God who knows my name. He is everything to me. I got to declare all sorts of things, like “We have this hope, that He has never yet left anything unfinished: His blood was poured out for me, I…will…be…poured…out…for…Him.” All sorts of crazy, fanatical, exuberant things because the God above all Gods was there—in the room—with me. I was in the chapel for about two hours total, and finally had to make myself leave because I had homework I had to finish. But even now I have this little bubble in my spirit because the God of all flesh was there—He came to visit me.
And then I have to operate in a world where real people live, people who perhaps don’t believe in God, or who believe in Him only in an abstract, theoretical sense. They say to me, “Why are you so happy?”
What can I say?
“I got to pray today.”