Saturday, May 21, 2011

a little rapture

So I've been working on this memoir, and thinking about my relationship to God and the divine. That's the nut of the thing: how my ideas got formed and how they're shifting, and everything I've done to try and find...well, usually I use the word "it", but today I feel like saying "him". Which is new.


Jesus is on a lot of people's minds today, and mine, too, as he has been for a while here with this book. I was remembering my childhood relationship to him, which, since I wasn't brought up as a Christian, was friendly but distant. I always thought, "That guy seems cool. They've got a cool guy over there." And at one point, when I was around ten, I figured that he's probably open to being buddies with anybody. You don't have to go to one of the churches where they've got a big picture of him. If you sidle up to shake hands, he's going to be all the way down with that, maybe spin the handshake into one of those long, complicated, reunited-with-a-great-old-friend, what-it-was numbers. (I feel like I'm supposed to be capitalizing those Hims and Hes but I tell you I just can't do it. Feels funny. I'm positive he doesn't mind.)

So I've been thinking about him of late, and sort of trying him on for size. I haven't done that since childhood. You can see all of the Hindu flags I've got flying on my blog here, so you know I have a tent informally set up east of the sun. But I'm not - and I make it a point not to be - exclusive with any one way to God. I'm curious about them all, and think that any one of them followed with a full heart will get you there, and that none of them are the point. I'm pretty sure anybody can take the elevator in and up right from where they are with no middleman.

And that brings me back to the Rapture.

I was meeting with my mentor the other day. (I have the world's most wonderful mentor. I meet with her twice a month, and I tell you it's like being launched 500 extra yards down my path every other Thursday. Magic.) And I'd been telling her that I'd been thinking about Jesus as a result of my writing, and she said that was funny, because she'd been thinking a lot about him, too, of late. And no kidding, he's certainly floating in the common consciousness with all of this Rapture talk.

But as I drove away from my appointment with her, driving to see my chiropractor *, I had the most fantastic sort of weirdly holy experience. Every person I saw on the way - riding bikes, driving cars, standing around on the sidewalk - was do I put this? They were magnificent. Every single person appeared to be the secretly radiant star of some great epic. It was like The Return of the King, only every damn person alive was the king. Everybody was Frodo, Harry Potter, Aragorn, you name it. Everybody was The Chosen One. I knew for sure that the skinny young Asian man on his bike was possessed of amazing wizardly powers that he will get to put to the test eventually. That the old, rumply, unassuming man in a windbreaker ambling down the sidewalk was as Dumbledore as Dumbledore himself. And it was pretty rapturous, let me tell you. I wanted to see as many people as I could. It was like the world was some kind of divine Hollywood, and everybody was the most famous person in it, and I was the the most avid stargazer alive. Joy.

*Oh my god, that car accident was kind of the best thing that ever happened. Now I get to have chiropractic and massage three times a week! A WEEK! A shot of both every time. I can't wait to tell you about the guy who's giving me massage, either. It's too delightful. Next time.

And this morning, I woke up to a feeling of deeper peace than I've felt in years. I had the feeling that all of my problems - even if they're not visibly solved - are solved already in some way that just hasn't had time to manifest in the physical world. I felt whole and happy, that All is Right with the World, that I lack nothing. I feel it through every inch of me this morning. It's just true.

So, here's to you, Harold Camping, you crazy diamond. And here's to you, too, Jesus, my new old distant friend. I don't know about anybody else, but I think this has been a fine Rapture so far.


Marcheline said...

And once again, you've crawled directly into my subconscious. I was raised Christian, and left the church to embrace my pagan heart when in my 20's... but I, like you, have no official affiliation to nor refusal of any deity. I prefer to acknowledge that every religion, every deity, every spirit, every living thing, has important lessons locked inside, and it's for us to quest and learn from all of them.

As for Harold Camping, I grew up listening to his voice on Family Radio, and this most recent escapade of his actually made me a little sad. He's really old, and I fear he may be edging over into senility. The fact that his staffers are blowing big bucks on cars and vacations because they think the world is really going to end now is just another lesson that folks learn when they put all their spiritual eggs in one human basket.

Anonymous said...

Buddy-Jesus likes this.

Anonymous said...

I wish more people could see God like you do... clearly you can see that everybody, everything is a manifestation of God. Nobody owns God or could stuff God into one religion, or one deity (or many). It (he?) is infinite and everywhere, and it is that connection to the infinite that should be worshipped, rather than some image of some old guy in the clouds passing judgement. Jesus certainly was a fine dude and tried to explain and demonstrate some of this (and some of the deity in us all), but he is not the only explainer of truths.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Tina! Your impatient adoring public misses you. Can't you hear the chant from behind that curtain?

sean said...

"I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe" (Ephesians 1:18-19).

creativechai said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tina Rowley said...

Marcheline: Well, thank you for leaving your subconscious unlocked. Trying to jimmy my way into these things is awfully time-consuming. Really makes all the difference when I can just stroll in there. (And yes. While I made light of it, the whole Camping affair was a worry, indeed.)

Anon 1: Fine news!

Anon 2: Thank you for that.

Anon 3: Abashed! I was wondering what was going on back there. I thought maybe there was a football game on. (And you are very sweet!)

Sean: Thank you for posting this. My unfamiliarity with the Bible is pretty extreme. Your favorite passages are always welcome.