“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.” (Isaiah 6:1 – 4)
Angel-filled smoky bouncy house, with carpeting. Yes, that would be a life-jostling dream. And it was a dream – we assume, beloved reader. Or a vision.
I had a vision over 25 years ago, although I am not sure of the exact year. I do know it was not more than 30 years ago; sometime in that time frame. It is not a vision I have talked much about. And although I have thought about it a great deal over the years, the details are fuzzy around the edges. The metaphors that the vision presented, however, are clear and they have come to pass.
“And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” (Verses 5 – 7)
My reactions was not like Isaiah’s. This was not the first time I had received a direct message from the Lord. The earlier one was actually a visual calling, and at that time like Isaiah, I did not feel I was worthy. I worked through that feeling, and in time my lips and soul felt the purifying burn. So the next time I could say/pray “How should I respond to this vision?” The Lord answered by simply saying. “Watch so that you will understand what is to come.” I have watched, and I have understood.
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” (Verse 8)
At my seminary graduation ceremony this verse/passage was used. For me it has been a scripture passage that resonant with calling the faithful forth. I thought I knew where I was going, and what I was to do. But while my sense of being called remained strong, where I ended up and what I did was far different from what I first imagined. My vision was also one where the church as a corporate body changed from what it had been to something wholly different. At first I thought it was just concerning the church where I worshiped. Then I realized it was about the denomination that I grew up in. And then, especially in the past 10 years, I have realized it is about Christianity. I have watched, and I have understood.
While I am very thankful that I had this vision, and that I have seen time after time the accuracy in the unfolding, and in seeing the metaphors in my vision unfold into reality – I have been overwhelmed and overawed that I was given sight/insight into the changes over the decades. It has allowed me to stay calm, focused, and centered in an every changing world. Or at least in comparison to what it might have been like if I, as with so many others, had been caught up in the every rapid swirling of faith and the Christian/spiritual life. It has kept my grounded so that I have been able to lift my voice to speak of my faith when the opportunities have arisen.
It is my prayer, beloved reader, that the Divine has been with you and given you a firm base of faith; and opportunities to lift up your voice saying “send me!” Shalom & Selah!