Lifting my face to the breeze, and closing my eyes… I just feel. Air brushed coolness washing over my skin, after working long hours in stale indoor spaces. With daylight descending beyond the horizon, evening giving way to darkness, tiny pin points of silvery light appear one by one in the night sky…
And longing presses within, filling me with an aching for more. More time to admire Creation, more time to reflect on the Creator, more of this restoring-ly beautiful stillness.
Later, with doors locked, lights off, after saying our prayers and whispering Good Nights, I open a few windows and close others. Pausing, I cannot look out without looking up. Far from city lights to blur the view, my gaze rests on the glittering, velvet canopy above…
And again, a longing for more saturates my soul. More time for getting to know Him. More time for just me and Jesus and nobody else.
Of late I envy those whose work allows escape from computers and calendars and cell phones and office machines, taking body and soul into nature’s vast expanse to breathe worship among cathedral cliffs.
And new temptations entice—this growing desire to trade responsibility for a mesh-roofed tent and pair of hiking boots.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Perhaps he hiked occasionally to the top of a hill to stretch his aging limbs… settling himself on a rock while catching his breath, he would have gazed on the rugged landscape, the azure sea, gulls and sails, clouds and waves… surrounded by volcanic hills, rocks, caves, a shoreline fringed with turquoise surf, neighboring islands… and pagan temples.
He was a new resident on Patmos, one of many islands in the Ægean Sea—John, the last apostle of Jesus Christ. Banished for his faith by the Roman emperor, after leading dozens (or hundreds?) of souls to the Christians’ God, he merely continued his work among the island inhabitants, dwindling in numbers, but open to the Gospel.
Scripture doesn’t give the details. And theologians differ on their historical interpretation of the account. We’ll have to wait to hear the rest of the story.
It’s possible John missed his brothers of the faith, and his brother James, the first of their ragtag group to lose his life in exchange for a crown… missed his Savior. Perhaps he reminisced of long-ago ministry years during those early days with an itinerate teacher—with the Messiah, the One promised and anticipated for centuries, the One who came and called John to be a follower, a fisher of men.
While he longed for the eternal Kingdom, ever preaching, still encouraging believers with, Little children, love one another, God entrusted him with the gift of seeing, with visions of events to take place at a distant time.
To be continued…