For the record: an excursus is a digression in a written text, wherein a digression is an intentional change in subject, wherein wherein is another way to say “in which” or “in what place.” It’s an excursus because it departs from the current miniseries “We Among Others.”
This post is inspired by a strange experience I had and how I wrote briefly about it on my Facebook, and now I wanted to explore more of it, yes.
I don’t know why I felt it. Maybe it was because I was writing on a response paper to Stanley Grenz’s chapter on the Holy Spirit in Theology for the Community of God. Maybe it was because I was listening to Beach House’s new single “Myth” (http://www.beachhousebaltimore.com/, listen to it!), but I felt a powerful emotion. As I sat there, in my chair, behind my desk, my computer in front of me, my peace lily to the left, my green office lamp to the right, I felt an overwhelming urge to profess my love for Jesus Christ.
It was a sensation that began in the gut. It’s not a stomach ache, and it wasn’t anxiety, but it had a similar sensation to anxiety. It was a tingling emanation from my umbilicus throughout and throughin its anatomical neighborhood. It moved through and within my bones and muscles, and once it reached my head, the tingling sensation produced what I felt as being connected with my entire body in the experience of a single emotion.
But what was this emotion?
It’s an emotion that centers you with the entire universe. You are able to look at your computer, your peace lily, your office lamp, and sense a deep and profound presence of the divine in it and in all of it. Time slows down, reality morphs into tangible intangibility, that place where you know you are but that in there your being is in flux. You are morphing and moving with reality in the stillness of change. In this moment we can hear the still soft voice, we can feel the gentle breeze, and we can see the faint glimmer of the divine.
In these moments, we see that we have entered into a beautiful existence, or perhaps that the beautiful existence has come to us. We are enraptured by the beauty that envelopes us , and in this all our senses and all our faculties strive to make sense of it. However, they can only make sense of it through alternative means, namely, the experience itself.
But in this deep clairvoyance is the striking emotion of commitment to the experience itself. In the experience we find ourselves muttering words of affection to the experience itself. But what makes this experience special is that the experience is personified, but not in the sense that a person is created in the experience, but rather that a person is discovered in the experience, encountered in the experience.
In this, we, in faith, identify the experience as the love of God, meeting us in the still places, kindling within our hearts a gentle reminder of the love we share. It reminds us of the works of God that we know of through the inheritance of history. It reminds us of the present work of God in our lives and how in faith we have chosen to view our life in response to and in expectation of the divine. And so, likewise, it reminds us of the coming hope of the dramatic fulfillment of that which we have inherited and that which we experience and respond to, a consummation of love in perpetual fullness and completeness.
These reminders are all personified (or incarnated) in Jesus Christ, and we understand that the feelings we experience and the memories and hopes conjured up within the experience is the work of God making known Godself in the work of Jesus for us and in us. In this, in the enraptured experience and hope, we find we are compelled to do none other and by nothing other than to whisper into the stillness of the experience: “Jesus, I love you.”