ACT ONE: In Which ‘Sunny’ is Rudely Awakened
I won’t soon forget the spike of panic that arose in my parental gut yesterday morning when I learned of the earthquake in Italy. It took only a second or two to stitch it together with the realization that our daughter ‘Sunny’, who is spending the semester there, had not called on Skype during our breakfast (her lunch) as she does most days.
I sprinted into the other room and called her… one ring, two, three… Oh God, if she’s hurt or worse, I know it’s Your Will, but you’ll have to help me with that, OK? She had just been to see the Pope’s weekly address on Palm Sunday and so maybe, in a worst case, that had led her to some kind of last-second epiphany…
She picked up. Phew. She was in the midst of narfing down lunch. Business as usual in Rome. Ninety miles is a long way for shock waves to propagate. Daddy’s heart rate returned to normal… Turns out she and her roommates were awakened in the wee hours by unmistakable shaking but it never got bad enough for them to get out of bed, much less evacuate. No dishes broken, even.
One of them is from LA and it’s not clear she even woke up for it, though she had had a vivid dream (the roommate) two days prior about someone under the bed, shaking it. Then there was the April 8th ‘thing’ way in the back of my mind… plus a dream a friend had had about the Pope and April 8th. ‘Nuf of that…
ACT TWO: In Which a “Cosmic Hand Reaches for the Light”
This is seriously cool. (H/T: archangel)
Holy week? Nail scars? Fire on the fingertips? Take it as you will. It is cool.
ACT THREE: In Which Your Blogger Opens His Bible and it Seems to Read Like the News
I don’t subscribe, in an absolute sense, to the “drop the bible on the table and see what it opens up to” theory of scriptural study and interpretation (aka, the “close your eyes, pray, flip it and see where your thumb ends up” method) though in some cases it has produced eerily appropriate, God-clearly-is-saying-something to us results. Some times. And so, because of those spine-tingling times, when I’m lazy or not following a particular study program, I will do it and see what happens. Like today.
Sit down with coffee, watch the sunrise and nonchalantly poke my finger into the fat study bible and… Jeremiah 51… top of the left-hand page whoa nelly… Here are the first few verses I saw (from the ESV):
“Sharpen the arrows! Take up the shields! The Lord has stirred up the spirit of the kings of the Medes [aka, roughly, modern-day Iran], because his purpose concerning Babylon [which the U.S. now mostly controls, and perhaps is] is to destroy it, for that is the vengeance of the Lord , the vengeance for his temple [U.S. policy now set against Israel?]. Set up a standard against the walls of Babylon; make the watch strong; set up watchmen; prepare the ambushes; for the Lord has both planned and done what he spoke concerning the inhabitants of Babylon. O you who dwell by many waters, rich in treasures, your end has come; the thread of your life is cut.”
Yeah, yeah, I know. The passage refers (prophetically, when it was written) to very specific (now ancient-historical) events that have been amply documented… which does not mean that scripture doesn’t ‘echo’. It nearly always does, in fact. And yeah, I know, it’s dangerous to go too far in mapping scripture onto current events too precisely. (It nearly always yields surprises that make it look even more prophetic in hindsight.)
That said… I challenge anyone to read the entirety of that chapter (Jer 51) and not find much that speaks to the current state (and possibly fate) of the world, and particularly that of the U.S.
UPDATE: Aftershocks! ‘Sunny’ just popped in with a Skype chat:
[1:49:40 PM] ‘Sunny’ says: my apartment is moving…
[1:49:50 PM] Ultraguy says: shaking??
[1:50:05 PM] ‘Sunny’ says: yes really subtly
[1:50:16 PM] Ultraguy says: whoa… if there’s any doubt, get out… or stand in a doorway… doorframe is safest
[1:50:38 PM] ‘Sunny’ says: it’s ok the lamp is just moving
[1:51:36 PM] Ultraguy says: still moving??
[1:51:50 PM] ‘Sunny’ says: no it’s ok i think the lamp just needs time to stop… weird