Many people can point to the moment of their conversion. Not me. Christ has dawned on me slowly, like a sunrise, an illumination growing incrementally over decades until my entire world is lit up.
One very helpful change in understanding was the realization that Christ, like God, is not an entity separate from me. The Word permeates my being, for I am his utterance. All I have to do to find him is to grow still. When my ego mind is listening instead of speaking, there he is, right there. He was always there, right at the center of my being. As Paul says, in him I live and move and have my being.
In today’s Gospel reading the Pharisees and Sadducees want Jesus to give them a sign from heaven. Is he the Messiah . . . or not? It is not enough for them that everywhere he goes he heals everything, every ailing or longing soul within range. They want him to prove himself in a way their literal minds can understand.
He reminds them that they know how to interpret the signs of the sky – whether it will be a rainy day or a fair one. Why can’t they interpret the signs of the times? He is bringing new life, living water, healing, a way of going forward for people who have never had hope before. He is the answer to Israel’s longing.
It is all right for us to go ahead and open ourselves up to the salvific presence of Christ at the center of our souls. We do not need the sort of proof that satisfies the rational mind, for that kind of a sign never really convinces us completely anyway. Christ is in the yearning, and in the reaching, in the wonder, and in the healing, in the praying, and in the hoping that pours out of us at every moment. He is a part of our every in-drawn breath. As surely as a red, threatening sky in the morning means that a storm is coming, what we know with our hearts to be true about him really is true. We can grow into letting that understanding illuminate us. We can count on it.
Image: photo by Ann Fontaine. Red skies at night – sailor’s delight