Kings, Queens and Jelly Beans
A fourth grade catechism class teacher once asked her students to take the time to draw a picture of their favorite scene from the bible. One by one they would be allowed to show their picture to the rest of the class and explain their stories. Time passed and each child began to present his or her picture. The teacher called upon one child named Eric to share his work; Eric walked up to the front, turned to the class and displayed his creation. Immediately there were a few giggles from the children and the teacher’s look was that of confusion. “Eric”, she said, “didn’t you understand the assignment?” “Yes,” he replied solemnly. “Then why do you have a picture of two people flying in an airplane?” she asked, “there aren’t any airplanes in the bible.” “There must have been”, he said, “at least the one that the pilot in the bible flew.” She then gently asked, “which pilot?” “Pontius Pilate,” he said, “this is a picture of Jesus flying with Pontius Pilate.” “And come to think of it”, he asked, “Weren’t there also daily flights to Egypt?”
(An adapted story I once heard)
Wha† we see is wha† we ge†
"...seek and you will find..." Mat 7:7
Sometimes we have to put some effort into finding what treasures the Lord wants to give us. It can be challenging yet very rewarding when we do find them.
It also doesn't hurt to have a sense of humor... God does!
"Are there hippos in the bible?" God will often ask me. The answer is, "yes". Where? The town named Hippos which can be found on biblical maps inserted.
Associations, associations, associations..... see if you can find him in the following stories and in you own personal experiences. I hope they inspire you to think of the possibilities.
A Ringing In His Ears -- A Deacon’s Story (Deacon Robert Garza)
Robert, not unlike many people, questioned the validity of charismatic prayer meetings when he first became acquainted with them. One of the hardest activities to accept when first attending a charismatic prayer meeting can be to observe people “Resting in the Spirit.” (“An intense awareness of God’s peace that involves an ecstatic concentration on God’s presence and usually a shut down of voluntary movements like standing or speech for a short time.”) Watching people literally falling into the arms of a “catcher” after being “prayed over” would probably concern anyone. Nonetheless, in faith Robert allowed himself to be “prayed over” during the prayer group’s altar call for those present desiring to be “Baptized in the Holy Spirit.” (“Baptized in the Holy Spirit: A conscious breaking forth of the graces and power of the Holy Spirit already received in the Sacraments of Christian Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist). God offers a new inner awareness that activates our spiritual lives and gives faith a new dimension.”) As he was being “prayed over” as in the “laying of hands,” Robert experienced an on-going inner peace. It was during this time that he heard what appeared to be the “ringing of bells or chimes” in a continuous manner as he yielded to the presence of the Holy Spirit and “Rested in the Spirit” as he laid on the floor. When he arose from the floor he began to ask others if they had also heard the same sound of bells ringing, but to no avail -- he was the only one. Some time later, Robert, in dedication to his faith, became a deacon at his parish. “Bells, with their acoustical carrying power, symbolize the evangelizing voice of God.”
“From now on I’m telling you before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.”
A Heartbeat Later -- Chester’s Story
At the age of seven, Chester, who is presently a member of the St. Margaret Mary Prayer Group, had a very unusual and vivid dream. In his dream he could see a group of people on a street in his neighborhood of Newton Fall, Ohio (near route 534) that were shouting, “The Sacred Heart of Jesus has been killed.” He then walked up to observe the Sacred Heart of Jesus lying on the ground. The next morning at breakfast he shared his experience with other family members. This dream impacted him emotionally and as an adult, Chester found himself asking priest and lay people alike for a possible interpretation. Nearly 50 years later he discovered that on that very same street, the Sacred Heart Catholic Church was being built. “Some envision the heart to be the center of the human body, so it has become the symbol of love, deep feelings or religious feelings.”
Mindy, a former fellow employee, had left town for the weekend. She had placed food and water into the cage of her two pet ferrets without any concern that they would be fine; she had done this before. She shared with me that on her first night she had a dream in which she dream t that a ferret was choking to death. She arose, puzzled but felt no reason to be uncomfortable with this experience. Upon arriving home, she entered her apartment to discover that her ferrets had managed to escape. Searching the premises she came upon one of her two ferrets entangled in the hanging string of a Venetian blind. She quickly released the animal and returned it to its cage. The second ferret was eventually located and returned with its adventurous partner. At that moment, in awe, she then remembered her dream from the previous night.
An ermine is a weasel (Mustela erminea) of northern regions, having a black-tipped tail and dark brown fur that in winter changes white. A ferret is weasel like, usually an albino mammal (Mustela putorius furo) related to the polecat and often trained to hunt rats or rabbits. In Christian art the ermine (a cousin of the ferret) because of its white winter fur was used to represent purity. (Ferguson)
“… set an example for those who believe, in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity” [1 Tim 4: 12]
William and I were standing at the base of the stairwell, practicing before the prayer group session began. Rebecca was coming down the stairs to join us. Her steps were a bit noisy and as she came with in view she giggled and laughingly said, "The sky is falling, the sky is falling." A little later I showed her the Words of Knowledge "Henny Penny" which had come to mind nearly a week earlier.
"…how many times I yearned to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her young under her wings, …” [Mat 23:37]
The Eagle has landed… -- Jason’s Story
Jason has been a friend for a few years now. His personal experiences I believe may be similarly associated to the experiences that others have (including myself) of songs popping into our heads and then later hearing those songs externally in unexpected situations. I believe that such experiences are subtle “Words Of Knowledge” which God is bringing to mind in order to build up our faith in his providence.
Jason shared that occasionally he would get into his car, turn on the radio, and for some unknown reason he would have a recurring experience. Just as he was searching through the radio stations, he would have a hunch that he was going to come across any of the many songs played by the musical band called the Eagles. Sure enough, he would then find one of their songs being played on the radio. This has occurred enough times in his life that he has come to conclude that it is more than just a coincidence.
In Christian art the eagle has come to represent the Resurrection, the new life begun at the baptismal font and the Christian soul strengthened by grace. It also symbolizes generosity and the inspiration of the gospels.
“Fills your days with good things; your youth is renewed like the eagle's.” [Psa 103:5]