This past Sunday I was preaching on the first commandment. At one point in the message I was trying to put words around a shift that has recently happened in my perspective; a conversion where I’ve been living into the command to have no other gods before God in an renewed way. In moments of anxiety, a move to a greater awareness of God’s presence has brought peace, “I am not in control of all of this, You are!” In moments of gratitude or mere happiness, waking up to the reality of the fact of God authoring that good thing and the understanding that he’s watching me engage it brought joy, a much more eternal and deep sense of rightness.
What I realize as I now ponder this way of knowing and experiencing God – where a person within a circumstance all of sudden sees the ‘heldness’, the ‘beheldness’ of the moment and knows God as one who is being seen – is that this is yet another distinct way from the other ways of knowing God that I’ve been noting in recent years. There’s the iconic way – where God is in behind a thing speaking through it. The perichoretic way – where God is interacting with himself, Father to Son to Spirit to Father, and we are gifted with a kind of overhearing. The Devotio Moderna way, where an image shaped and changes your eyes and heart. And now there’s this hearing while being beheld kind of knowing.
A friend just sent me an email re: wanting to make the move from mere happiness to joy more often in his life. I wrote this sentence as part of my reply; “Everything you’re doing right now, have ever done, and will ever do, is being attended to, watched, engaged in, hoped over, enjoyed and loved by God in some beautiful and mysterious sense I would imagine! Compelling.”
I love that I could trip on this other way that God self reveals. Perhaps the number of ways are infinite?