It was beautiful staring off the porch into the hills surrounding the cabin. It was heaven to sit crossed-legged on the ground and paint until the sun tipped behind the mountain beyond. But once it was dark...I was scared. Every sound, the creaks in the house, the ice-maker, the animals outside, everything was unnerving me and I remembered why I didn't want to come up to the cabin by myself. I did not want to be alone at night.
I did not want to give in to this irrational, child-like fear so under my breath, I dedicated my fearful thoughts back to the Creator and asked Him to be with me. I didn't think much about this prayer, it was so natural and it just fell out of my mouth. Soon after it, I found myself in the basement listening to a CD from a dear friend. She had given me some CD's and books that her husband, Jim Driscoll had done on dream interpretation and being a modern day "seer".
I felt a little silly sitting in the middle of the basement with my chair pulled up to the TV even though there wasn't anything to even look at on the screen, but I stared at it anyways. With a notebook and pen in hand, I listened to the wisdom that Jim had to share.
The CD was incredible. It was changing my world with each word he spoke. The main thing he discussed was that all people are able to see the Spiritual realm. Some people see with their literal eyes, some in visions, some in dreams, some with their spiritual eyes. In almost all cases, what we dub as our imagination is actually a tool that closely ties us to the Lord who is speaking to us through all of his creation. I was digging it and I believe him.
At the end of the lesson he offered everyone a spiritual practice to help develop us CD listeners into modern day seers. (And please note, this is all from a Christian Spiritual Tradition.) This is what he said.
Using your heart, eyes, spiritual eyes, imagination, whatever, LOOK, really LOOK and tell me where Jesus is in the room.
I took a moment, and I closed my eyes and I saw him. It was just a second, but Jesus was sitting in the chair just behind me, leaning over a notepad and taking notes. When I looked at him, he lifted his head and glanced at me and smiled.
I was so shocked that I turned "off" whatever it was that I have just turned "on" to see him. As I listened, from his CD recording room, Jim was asking participates where they saw Jesus and they all excitedly explained. He was doing lots of different things around the room they were in. Each person had a different experience of Jesus.
Then he asked what is Jesus wearing? I looked again and Jesus was wearing old jeans and a white bathrobe over them. Other's on the CD explained what they saw. We all saw different clothes and Jim said it is important to note what he is wearing because it helps us to understand what he is doing.
Then he asked us to look and see what Jesus is doing.
Then he asked us to ask Jesus why he is here. I did. Jesus responded to me in words I knew but I don't think I heard with my ears, "You. You invited me."
I was floored. I didn't remember inviting Jesus there. I didn't even say his name let alone invite him to this place. When did I invite Jesus to be with me? Then, there it was, I saw it as clear as day. I had prayed, "Lord, just be with me so I won't be scared." And here he was.
I am still deeply moved by this experience. Jim went on to ask us to ask Jesus what we should be doing or how we can share his heart. He also explained that when we pray for the gift of discernment we will learn to know the difference between the imaginings of our hearts and the creative revelations of God. I knew he was right. When I, Claire, wanted to picture Jesus in the room, I wanted him to be standing in a corner watching over me. That is where I want Jesus. But Jesus was sitting next to me and we were actively doing something together.
Jim reminded me that Jesus declared that he does what the Father does so if we want to know what God wants us to do, then we need to look at what Jesus is doing. We should do what Jesus is doing. I was amazed that Jesus and I were taking notes. I knew I needed to be at the cabin that night but I just did not know why. Here it was!
Just a few hours ago, I was meeting with my Spiritual Director and told her about this experience. She asked me where Jesus was in the room right then. I asked her if she would look too and then we could share. In that moment, in my head I again, wanted Jesus to be standing in the corner watching over me, but what I saw was Jesus sitting next to me on the couch, holding my right hand as I talked. I could not believe he was so close to me. He was comforting me, holding me, and it was so intimate. I realized that I don't even want to picture Jesus that close to me because it seems so much better than what I would give myself. My hand felt on fire with the thought that Jesus had been holding it all that time. My Spiritual Director said she saw him looking in the window smiling with approval at us both.
Suddenly, the idea that Jesus is everywhere simultaneously living into the work of God and being present for everyone made sense. I could grasp it in my head and I felt it becoming truth in my heart.
I know I saw with spiritual eyes. I also know that plenty of skeptics could chuckle at how I imagine what I want to see. I don't really care what anyone says. I believe in a big God who uses even my imagination to speak to me and teach me about His ways. I know where I want Jesus in my life. I know where I feel most comfortable keeping Jesus and he was not in those places. He was closer than close. He was co-creating with me. He was holding me. The intimacy and companionship of my Savior is too overwhelming to me to even appropriately write about.
Jim suggested that this is a very simple exercise that we should do regularly, like every time we step into a new space. Over time, he said, we shouldn't even have to think about it because we will just see where Christ is in the room.
I realize that for some, this experience is pretty bizarre but for me, it was heaven and it was real. I feel vibrant again, I feel alive and connected to the I AM of all life. I know that I see signs and visions from the spiritual realm. I also know that I ignore them at times too. This is a wonderful exercise to help keep me really know what I need to do because I want to love and serve the Lord. I want to do what Jesus is doing. What better way to do that than to look for him and see what he is doing?