Everything is transformed in Christ into its true wonder. In the radiance of His light the world is not commonplace. ~Alexander Schmemann
I had risen early for a run. The sun was just climbing out of bed himself, sending out long slanting rays, gilding cattails, painting auroras against the mist. I couldn’t stop looking at it. Everything was transfigured in this light. I kept stopping to snatch photos, trying to gather up souvenirs of this moment, this unrepeatable onceness. The way common ditch flowers and stalks of grass, tired old buildings and fields of corn were aching into their true selves, and for an instant I could see them as they really were.
They were his closest friends. True, he had been investing himself deeply in a group of men and women for three years. But these three…they had gone deeper. And he wanted to share something with them. Something very intimate. An extraordinary moment. A memory that would linger long after he was gone. And he would be gone. Soon.
So they climbed a mountain. Mount Tabor. Funny how much of his story had been unfolded, would be unfolded, on mountains. The three planted themselves, but he walked on a little farther. Suddenly, he was not alone. There were figures on either side of him. Figures from beyond…from the other…
And he was changed.
The glory had simmered inside him for as long as they had known him. Sometimes they caught glimpses of it in his eyes. It had wrapped them round when he had calmed an angry sea. It had filled their bellies with fish and bread and wine. It had flowed from his fingers into people who were wounded and hurting and had made them well. But now….now a visible glory radiated from him like fire. His face shown like the sun and his garments were whiter “than any launderer could bleach them”.
The hymnody of the ancient church says Peter, James and John saw his glory that day, “as much as they could bear“. It makes me think of the recurrent phrase that permeates the Gospel of John, “and his disciples believed in him”. They believed…as much as they could. And the next day, or the next week, they saw more of who he was, and they believed a little more.
He had been creating a space in them…for belief…for glory…
Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. On this day I am reminded that God’s glory is all around me on a daily basis. I have only to walk with eyes open. And I pray that as I continue to look for His glory in humble places, that I will become able to bear more, and more of His glory. And that one day that I may see His Uncreated Light.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.“ ~John 17:24