Sometimes, when I pray, I am aware of Him – of His essence, His nature. It’s an awareness of a being, a presence, an intelligence that is simply good. He is forgiving, and merciful, and patient, and kind, and understanding. He is just good – goodness personified, one might say. It’s really kind of hard to describe, but at different times I get more of a concrete sense of His being. It’s not a glorious light or anything, just an awareness of who He is, of His nature – a nature that embodies all the goodness that I am capable of comprehending. I’ve never “seen” Him, but in this way, I guess I “know” Him. Sometimes, but not always, it feels as if I can almost break though the veil and touch Him – come face to face. That hasn’t happened yet.
At other times He has come to me. Again, I don’t “see” Him, but I know He’s there. I can’t say how I know it, or how I know it’s Him, but I do. I remember the first time I was completely shocked. It kind of gently caused me to take a deep involuntary breath – like “taking my breath away”, but not that intense. I just suddenly knew He was there, and that I could ask anything of Him that I wanted. Without hardly thinking, I asked Him to save our children. I was very gratified later to realize that, when finding myself in His “presence”, my first, almost instinctive request, was for the welfare of our children. That was quite reassuring. Another time, He made me to know that “I am”. Just as He is, so I am. It’s like, whatever I am I already am. I’m not going to change – I’m already what I’m supposed to be. I just don’t know it yet. It’s my knowledge and understanding of who I am that evolves and changes. Of course, this suggests my existence outside the context of time, which remains pretty much incomprehensible to me. It was also clear that this “me” that “I am” is pleasing unto Him and loved by Him. Again, nothing flashy or glorious – just…nice.
Why do I tell you this? Well, there’s this belief that we have to “see” Him in order to receive the Second Comforter. That may be true – it probably is – but I’ve never “seen” him…still, somehow I “know” Him. I don’t understand how it works. I would expect to be overwhelmed by His glory, even by His goodness. Instead, I just feel His gentility and kindness. I’m always comfortable. I’m relieved every time He comes to me again like in the second account. I’m like, “Oh – I’m so glad you will still come to me like this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”. Then we have conversation. My thoughts – His answers. It’s never anything overwhelming or exhausting, but it’s very reassuring. It give me peace.
I don’t know why these experiences are not like other accounts we’ve all read. He has cautioned me on a couple of occasions not to compare my experiences with those of others. Satan as an angel of light, you might say? I really don’t think so. It’s just too mellow, too good, too comfortable. He doesn’t flatter me, except to remind me that I am good (I am – I really am a good person) and that He loves me. He has told me to do things that seem to be exceptional, but they’re never, ever anything that exalts me in any way. I’ve made the mistake of feeling like I was going to do something really special, but as it turned out, it was really all quite humbling and instructional – and all I had to do was step along and try to be consistent with what I know of His goodness – the very goodness that I want to take onto, into, myself, the very goodness that I want to become. So – its was a gently humbling experience, and one that has changed me and continues to change me.
Christ, this Christ that I know, is good. He’s just this great big beautiful bundle of kindness and humility and power and perfection bursting with the desire to know us and love us and lift us – to save us. He is patient. He is kind. He is understanding and compassionate. His power comes from His ability to love us more than He loves Himself.
So, I can’t say that I’ve seen Him. Perhaps that is a joy that awaits me some time in the future. Yet, I know Him. He knows me. It is this quiet joy, this gentle assurance that keeps me, in spite of all my weakness and imperfection, on that straight and narrow path. He lives and He loves. How could we ask more than that for ourselves?