I wrote this about six weeks ago and didn’t publish it because I didn’t know what to do with it.
I did share it with a few men of wisdom asking if I should tell those in church leadership about it.
I so want to be a prophet in situations like this.
I’ll tell you about their advice after I tell you what happened.
“I had a weird Sunday this past week.
Got to Sunday School, made coffee, tuned up the guitar, picked out songs, practiced a little, everything was just like usual so far.
Then my buddy and I started playing.
I started to notice I was more nervous than usual, hands a little shaky, voice quavering a bit. It happens sometimes, maybe the coffee, I don’t know. When that happens I try to focus on the words of what I’m singing. So I focus, “Holy, holy, King of kings….” Doesn’t help.
The next song starts, “I enter the Holy of Holies, I enter through the blood of the lamb. I enter to worship You only, I enter to honor I Am.” Now I’m really nervous. Hands and voice shaking noticeably.
I make it through the song, say to my buddy, “That was weird.” and go on with the morning.
I go into the Sanctuary for worship, again nothing unusual so far.
We begin singing and I notice the songs focusing on Holiness. Three songs in, we sing “Holy, Holy, Holy”.
I won’t call it a vision, but I “saw” in a 3rd person, detached kind of way, the congregation singing the words “Holy, holy, holy” as if it were any other familiar, beloved hymn. As if holiness were familiar. But I also “saw” above the congregation a barrier, a veil, a protective covering that kept us from seeing what was really there. I “heard” in my mind a thought, “If you only knew. I am not like you think I am.”
And I knew that if we saw, we would be undone. All of us.
If He pulled back the veil, just a little, we would, all of us, have our ideas blown to bits. Everything would change, nothing would, or could, stay the same.
It was different from the thoughts that come from inside me. I’m almost sure that it came from without. It lasted for just a few seconds, but it has stayed with me for the last several days.
I was reminded of an Annie Dillard quote;
“Does anyone have the foggiest idea of what sort of power we so blithely invoke? The churches are children playing on the floor with their chemistry sets, mixing up a batch of TNT to kill a Sunday morning. It is madness to wear ladies’ straw hats and velvet hats to church; we should be all wearing crash helmets. Ushers should issue life preservers and signal flares; they should lash us to our pews.”
I don’t know what to do with all of it yet.”
Like I said, my first inclination was to project a lack of Holy knowledge onto the congregation, and tell the powers that be what I had “seen”.
One of the wise men I told said, that in his experience “visions” like this one were not usually for public consumption, but rather for private instruction.
The others agreed.
I didn’t like it.
I didn’t want it to be for me, truth is I didn’t even want it to be for the congregation.
I wanted it to be about how spiritual I was.
I wanted it to be about how favored I was of God, and for everyone to know that.
I know now that my friends were, and are right.
It wasn’t “them” out there that needed Holiness.
It was, and is me.