by guest blogger, BroKen
Many years ago now, I was driving home from work when the moon appeared to me in a gap between trees. It was a full moon, huge on the horizon and extremely bright. There was a layer of cloud along the bottom of the moon which, as the light shone through, became as bright as the moon itself. It looked as if the moon was rising up out of a pool of cloud, and clouds were flowing off the moon back down into the pool. Or perhaps it was that some invisible hands were forming the moon out of the glowing band of cloud stretched across the horizon. The vision jumped out from behind the trees for only a few seconds and then it hid itself again.
I had heard words like “slack-jawed” or the phrase “their mouth fell open” used to describe awe, but it had never happened to me before, or since. It happened then. My face muscles involuntarily relaxed as I kept driving home and my mind began to process what I had just seen. Words like those in the paragraph above came to me and then I noticed that there were tears in my eyes. That shocked me. What kind of man cries at the moon? I began to analyze what I was experiencing. Dissecting an emotion, even an intense one, usually kills it. That is what my analysis did here.
When I got home I sat on the front porch and looked at the moon. It was still full and bright but no longer quite as large, and the clouds had moved on. I told myself, “I understand the pagans. If I didn't know the Creator; the Artist who made the image I had seen, I think I would worship the Moon.”
Do you know pagans? They are all around us. We are rapidly becoming, if we haven't already become one, a pagan culture. Do you know what a pagan is? A pagan is one who worships an experience like I describe above, or worships the object in that experience.
There are many awe-inducing sources. Mountains, Rivers, Animals, Trees, Sex and Drugs, Money and Power are just a few. Even Human Beings themselves, as individuals or a whole Tribe, can captivate and transfix our Mind, Soul and Body.
Those awe-inducing sources are, well, awesome gifts. But an awesome gift can be dangerous. Since we are so starved for the Divine in our fallen world and unable to experience God directly, those transcendent experiences threaten to replace Him in the minds, hearts and lives of many. That is why one of the first commandments is to make no image of God. God is Holy, that is, wholly other; different from anything experienced.
Even in church more and more people ignore the still small voice following instead the noisy pagan “gods”. It helps to know what they are doing in order to remind them that the Giver is even more awesome than the gift.