Too many of us, I think, have lost our child-like sense of wonder. We don’t be believe in magic or miracles unless it was created on a CGI screen and chronicles the story of a Jedi. And, to be fair, the world kind of beats the wonder out of us early. We learn to live in black and white. All we know are polarities and binaries. There’s either no God at all or an extreme, hyper-distortion of God made in the minds of people driven by greed, pride, and lust. Jesus either didn’t exist or exists in a way even He never intended. Nowadays, you are either for a thing or against it. And in many ways, this kind of line-drawing is necessary because the systems and institutions that we all must deal with are sooo filled with injustice and disparity that you have to almost lean completely in the opposite direction to even try to right the ship. But the consequence of this is one that many people don’t talk about.
Angels can’t come to us.
Not in the way that it is described in the biblical text, at least. With the shepherds just kicking back, doing what they do and then Boom! a host of angels appear in the sky announcing the birth of a Savior.
Can you imagine the first century Twitter debates?
Four drunk dudes in the desert hallucinate the coming Messiah. It’s a distraction! #staywoke
These are the kind of people who help perpetuate the stigmas around mental health issues.
There’s no room anymore for visions or dreams or visitations or prophecies or anything that can’t be reasoned or explained. We allow our children to have imaginary friends and we talk about how babies are seeing angels when they smile. But ‘round about ten or twelve, we chastise their imaginations and place their experiences with the spirit realm within a religious and/or scientific context that make us comfortable.
I believe that miracles live in the gray area. In the things we can’t explain but feel deeply in our gut. I’m in a space in my life when I want to embrace the Mystery more than I want to ruminate on theology. And get this… I love theology. I’m an intellectual, whatever that actually means. I tend to overthink and, though an empath, I’ve been trained to lead with my brain. But I also loooove the feeling I get in my chest and stomach when I watch the sunrise through my bedroom window. It’s the physical embodiment of awe. It’s a hope-filled wonder that confirms for me that yes, there is something else. Something beyond what I see. I like that I finally know what joy feels like in my body. Yes, it took me 44 years to pay attention. It took me having to dig through trauma and trauma-related responses to get to that good, good in my soul. I think I’m okay with that though. Because today, on Christmas Eve, I get to be fully present (pun intended).
You are so close. Come, Jesus.