In the early dawning of Sept 12th. my mother went from Argentina to her heavenly home - less that 24 hours after the terrorist attacks in the US.
After the attacks I sought for a way to express to others what I saw as the significance of these events in the flow of history.
Now, in the weeks since my mother's Homegoing, as letters have started to come in, I see something which seems to give me a starting point.
These letters expressing sympathy...they seem to divide fairly neatly into two types -
firstly letters sympathizing with loss and seeking to comfort and reassure,
and then others which somehow sought to express an understanding and
appreciation of my mother's and father's lives...
a kind of recognition of Light which shone through them.
This seems to illustrate all our vision of life. We can see the external and perhaps define it with exactitude, but the question remains, how many of us have the ability to see the inner essence of things?
Centuries ago the doors of Rome were caving in under the weight of invading barbarians, the foundations of generations were giving way and the pathways of civilization were crumbling.
It was a time when the ends of the world seemed to have been loosed upon the stability of ages, and all roads of escape seemed blocked.
In the midst of such a time, and far from Rome itself, a man was writing.
His book has endured while Rome has disappeared.
His title - The City of God.
His vision - the difference between God's kingdom and man's civilization.
How important it is that we see aright in our own day... with unclouded vision and objective sight.
Words alone are not adequate...the scripture comes to mind, "let him hear..."
And in Proverbs, "the hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made..."
As with Jeremiah the question to us is "what seest thou?"
Because of the power of the atmosphere which surrounds us,
Because of our inner insecurities,
Because of the emotional togetherness
and momentary tenderness of people in these days ...
it is almost impossible for the vast majority of us to accept the fact that these days may indeed be the "beginning of sorrows"
for our civilization,
and for life as we know it,
...and that not merely the outward form, but the whole inner structure of our institutions may be coming apart.
Today we need a fresh vision of the City/Kingdom of God.
Forces of destruction have been let loose.
He who restrains has in a measure been taken away
How terrible the fate of the one who, like Samson,
knows not when the Spirit has departed.
This seems to be the time of "rumors of" - uncertainty abounds,
and confusion, like a fog, penetrates the whole structure of life.
But the guilt is first ours in the church -
we have confused the Heavenly Kingdom with the Earthly thinking them one;
thinking that we only needed a few more adjustments in society
and politics to get our vision up and running.
I wonder how many see even yet that God's Kingdom
is not of this world - that this world will forever be incompatible
with that world where God dwells.
One tower came to an end in the civilization at Babel, and confusion began to reign -
not only in the speech of the nations,
but in the language within each man,
producing an inner clash, confusion, and frustration of
thought and purpose.
Two towers have come to an end in the midst of our civilization, and the nations struggle once again to find coherence in the midst of a descending cloud of darkness
where understanding disappears,
where fears come home to roost,
and "things fall apart"...
It is a time when that which darkens the light of nations seeks also to darken the light within each individual.
It is a time for the child of God to shoulder his responsibility and stand against the darkness.
It has been said, the gift of tongues restored what was lost in the curse of tongues.
Somehow the gift of tongues, on the day of Pentecost when all men heard clearly, promised to the children of God a restoration of Light, Order, and Coherence, which had been lost in the disordering of tongues at Babel.
Those who walk in the spirit of this world will never understand the importance, and the relationship, of events in life around us
but for those whose hearts seek the King and the Kingdom
there is a granted a seeing of the pathway,
and a vision of the horizons,
even as the shadows fall on this mismanaged world.
I believe that this is a time not for minor realignments in our priorities
but rather for examining our lives in depth,
until we Find a New Vision,
and Hear a New Word,
Until we are able to Stand, to Speak, to Live
on earth as representatives of Heaven.
Copyright (c) 1999 by Paul Ravenhill - http://www.ravenhill.org/