This week’s Daily Dvar in Luke describes the two men who “gleamed like lightning” at the empty tomb from which Yeshua had risen. The “gleaming” jumped out at me as I pictured these two angels, reminding me that angels were not just “back then”. Angels are real and they interact with us now even in these times.
I know this is an awkward subject for some, and I can understand that feeling. As an attorney, it’s all about the facts! So when I’ve had my own encounters with angels over the years, I’ve learned to set aside my preconceived notions and listen more deeply. I use my spiritual eyes and ears.
I’ve also learned to listen critically in the sense of not with skepticism, but rather, with discernment. I’m sure I don’t always get it right, but I’d rather be wrong believing in something bringing me closer to the possibility of a spiritual world beyond this one than that there is not such a world. Not just because of “gleaming”, the angels described in Luke reinforce my faith in Yeshua rather than detract from it. I am brought closer to the light with the thought of these angels.
“Gleaming”, that’s what the angels were if I were to describe the two that saved Sid and me at Cadillac mountain a number of years ago. (Details available upon request). “Gleaming” describes the protective angels surrounding me at another time of danger. ( I have a photograph of them). It describes what they looked like.
I believe the many stories of others I trust, as well as some books on the subject such as Angels in My Hair by Lorna Byrne (thank you, Rabbi Rich). Believing in angels is on the continuum of some of the other beliefs that form our faith, such as Yeshua’s miracles.
Who of us doubts the God’s miracles in Scripture? Maybe some of us do at times, maybe some of the miracles, themselves, maybe some on this distribution list regarding all of them. Personally, I believe all of them. Yet what does it mean to believe in Yeshua’s miracles vis-à-vis our faith walks?
We’ve just finished reading in Scripture how even the Apostles themselves, actually over and over again, were astounded at Yeshua’s miracles that they witnessed. They would see Him change water to wine, heal, raise to life the dead, actually die and be resurrected, Himself, and yet they would still struggle with their faith at times. If they saw Him with their own eyes, personally experienced His miracles, and still lacked complete faith, how much moreso must we try to believe given the distance of time and space from the actualities of those events. Alas, we are all, even the Apostles, just human.
On that walk from the tomb, some of Yeshua’s followers “were kept from recognizing Him” as He walked and talked with them after His “death” until He sat down with them so much later when breaking bread. Needless to say, as demonstrated by many of the Pharisee leaders, and countless others over millennia, faith does not come from seeing angels or miracles.
Faith comes sometimes inexplicably, with or without fanfare. Perhaps the first step to invite faith in God into our hearts is to acknowledge that we are not in control of our lives or this world. The irony is as we surrender our will, only afterward is the free choice that we are given meaningful. For when we allow Him in, when we recognize that all we are is from Him, only then can we begin to grow the faith, little by little, or perhaps experience a big “Wow” moment all at once. In either event, and everything in between, only when we grow that faith, and continue to grow it throughout our lives, as it is many times tested, can we meaningfully live the lives we have been blessed to live.
Decades ago as a successful (in worldly terms) Jewish woman, my go-to was not to surrender my will. I lived under the delusion that my success was as a result of my efforts. The beauty of our faith journeys is that God knows what we need to hear, when we need to hear it, when we will be ready to hear it, and when we will be ready to receive Him in the most meaningful way, through His Son Yeshua. It often takes a pivotal moment in our lives, or a time of vulnerability, or failure to succeed in worldly terms, for the static and false realities to subside enough for us to see the “gleam” of the true miracle, how much He wants us to know Him. We become aware of what has “kept us from recognizing Him”.
Yeshua was not just performing miracles “back then” but He is with us now, intimately. How much more we yearn today given the world’s challenges, how much more possible to feel His Presence, however it is revealed. This week I wish for you eye opening moments of His revelation to you in your every day lives, be it in the form of angels, in the miracles of His created universe, in the beauty of another day’s sunrise, “gleaming” in your lives.