It was one of those weekends. The kind where I try to dodge or shake an inevitable mood of mine: reflection. A half-breed of introvert and extrovert, I find myself confused with my own moods more often than not, and amused at how often somber reflection can be juxtaposed with erratic elation. Saturday night, I had an experience that changed me. It was as fleeting as it was overwhelming, and it was awesome.
I had been studying some epistles (James, 1 Peter, 2 Peter, 1 John) and had asked myself some good questions. How was an early Christian expected to behave? What did the early Christians believe? What was common to the early Christian experience? However, the divide between myself and biblical Christian expectation/behavior seemed to be widening by each minute of study. And I don’t mean perfection, I just mean an active faith. I was realizing again how much work there is to be done in my own life.
After I was through studying, I went for a walk down the La Jolla cove, and I had a really neat experience. I tried to write down some of it right then, but I couldn’t do it justice. In my journal, I started with “I don’t fully know how to describe the experience I just had. I think I just saw a glimpse of the beauty of the universe.” Whatever the experience, it brought back something for which I’m always asking God: wonder.
Here is as good of a description as I can produce.
Me, standing on a peninsula of rock, jutting from the cove out into the warm ocean, suspended ten feet above the dark waters to my right and in front of me. It’s night. Covered in darkness, I can scarcely see the stone underneath my feet. The sea surrounds me, with gray clouds above, tinted yellow by the dimly-lit streetlight behind. Night divers, shining their beams under water, skim the surface 100 yards in the distance. I stand on the ledge, a crevasse to my right, and another large rock 20 feet across, with the water inbetween 10 feet below. On the rock, four sea lions lie, distinguishable only by their shiny skin against the stone, yelping back and forth. And beyond them, 2 miles in the distance across the bay, I see the spotlights of La Jolla Shores Inn, shining past the shores onto the sea, towards me. Hoody over my head, with the pulsing darkness of the nighttime sea, salted with scattered patches of sea foam, vanishing as quickly as they appear, I experience a heightened sense of awareness and close my eyes. That’s when it happened. Confluence. I saw a glimpse of the beauty of the universe. Through creation I saw a glimpse of God. It was an awareness of God’s will and work. It all came together and I was there. My eyes stay closed, I’m standing but I’m not aware of my feet. I inhale. Exhale. Pure breaths of beauty. God is here.