That is what author Ian Morgan Cron wrote inside the flap of the book he authored, Chasing Francis as I handing it to him for an autograph. I am pretty sure I had an epiphany of sorts at the Eucharist he and Randy Elrod performed as part of one of our cre:ate think tank sessions. Let me share a couple things before I share what happened.
I will not go into the doctrinal intricacies of the Eucharist and shatter my own Evangelical construct for communion here since really that is not my point at all. The Lord’s Table has always had great meaning for me. But, something more happened this time with the beauty of the ritual of the Eucharist that did not dilute my thinking of my prior experiences. In fact, this experience greatly added to it.
For me as a more mystically wired musician, my upbringing as an avowed Evangelical enriches me to this day with powerful reasoning, life-changing doctrines and value for the authority of scripture. This very foundation leaves room for a mystical side, even though many seem to be far from encouraging it in practice.
For those who are charismatic, or pentecostal, your theological base pulls Evangelicalism to the mystical already, so you get this I suppose. But, for me I have tread lightly even when my experience and understanding of the teachings of the Bible call me to hear from God in ways more colorful than two-dimensional text and in the full color of an incarnational experience. Epiphany?
Let me share what happened just a few days ago. As the music and creeds and prayers were recited, the image of a leather button on the sleeve of a familiar corduroy coat flashed in my mind. In fact, I could smell that coat. My stepdad wore that and my memory of being tucked near his side, pulling his large finger said to me that this is how God sees me and where He wants me.
Those buttons were this epiphany of sorts. The earthiness of this 1970s coat transported me to feel for a brief moment what it’s like to be a child who comfortably nuzzles with his dad. This picture in the context of remembering Christ’s offering on the cross while receiving with open hands the body of Christ and dipping it into the wine undid me right then and there amongst these friends of mine.
How many times do I miss the God-moments where the truth of His Word is not just memorized, systematized but alive due to my busyness and laziness? I do miss the point here and often. One good friend who led my small group many years ago used to say that God is speaking to us all the time. My friend is right!
I confess my efforts and practice are remedial in hearing God in these mystical ways, even though I am perhaps a mystic through and through by design. My hope this year to is to live out what Ian so gracious encouraged us to do with one simple word. Epiphany.
What is your recent epiphany, mystical “God-moment” or does any of this even make sense to you?