Today as I was reading a favorite and familiar scripture verse, I was reminded of both a past experience and my last post, Feminine Genius. Check out Revelation (WHOOOAAAAA APOLCALYSPE!!!!???!!) 1:12-20 below!
A Vision of ChristI turned to see whose voice it was that spoke to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the lampstands I saw one like the Son of Man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash across his chest. His head and his hair were white as white wool, white as snow; his eyes were like a flame of fire, his feet were like burnished bronze, refined as in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of many waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and from his mouth came a sharp, two edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining with full force.
When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he placed his right hand on me, saying, "Do not be afraid, I am the first and the last, the living one. I was dead, and see, I am alive forever and ever; and I hold the keys of Death and of Hades.
Pretty cool, huh? Well...yea, if you're into that sort of creepy dramatic fiery end-of-the-ages thing. But if you're a good normal Catholic Christian you'd be all like:
I'm kidding, I'm kidding! Glowing risen Jesus is perfectly normal! If you consider the fact that he's, well, God, no biggie. But I digress, this isn't the point. To make some sense of the inner workings of my mind and the Holy Spirit pertaining to the above Revelation passage, I'm going to have to share with yall a beautiful experience I recently had at a retreat.
I was being prayed over by six of my beautiful sisters in Christ. They all had their hands on me, asking Jesus to give me his Holy Spirit in a deeper way. I remember feeling so warm, but it wasn't on my skin. It was coming from inside of me, similar to the feeling of an adrenaline high, but BETTER! I heard Jesus tell me I was warm because he was holding me in his arms like a little child, and then the tears came. One of my sisters began to have a vision of me. A bright light was coming out of me like the sun, as she described it. I knew it was his spirit inside of me, I knew he wanted to shine through me.
Later, the same woman who had the vision shared Revelation 1:12-20 with our small group. The Lord had placed it in her heart and she needed to share it with us. Instantly upon hearing it I was overwhelmed. This was the might and the warmth and strength of Jesus that I felt! The most beautiful part is that about the lampstands, though. There were seven women in my small group, myself included, just as there were seven golden lampstands. We were all on fire for Christ, gleaming like gold for him, but I noticed that lampstands themselves aren't lamps. This is why Jesus wanted me to hear this, he was speaking to me, and to everyone reading this as well. The light that shone out of me wasn't actually me, it was him. He wants us to hold him up like a lampstand holds a light up so that all of the darkness will be lit with his brilliant, shining light.
It gets even better! Jesus goes on to tell John in Revelation 1 that the seven lampstands represent the seven churches. The mission of the church is to bring the light to all corners of darkness in this world, to continue the kingdom on earth. In my last post I wrote about how us woman are called in a special way to be little churches to the world, offering ourselves as sanctuaries of life-giving love, sharing the graces of the sacraments to all, and holding up this very same light that is burning inside of us.
(Men, you guys are called to be lampstands too, but maybe less pretty shiny ones). ;)
So bros and sistas, let him shine through you. Be the light of the world because he is the light of the world and you can't contain his joy and love. For you prepare a feast before me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me and anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Psalm 23) Let's let our cups overflow with his love. Imagine the possibilities if we let the eternal and infinitive Lord Jesus Christ do his thing, bubbling over out of our lives and into the world like red hot lava - but way hotter and more dangerous than lava - but in a good kind of dangerous, world-changing, soul-changing way. Ya know? I am nothing but his lampstand, though crooked and tarnished I am, and that's all I desire. Anyone with me?