memory of a vision: come to the river!

It was June 2001.  I was surfacing from an extended depression, though it would recur in the winter months.  I’d been working with a wonderful therapist, and in the midst of the darkness and turmoil and pain, I had some hope for the future.  I was at work one morning, when I “heard” an invitation.

It was Jesus, and he was calling my name.  I didn’t hear this through my ears — a hallucination feels like it’s coming through your normal senses — but as though Jesus was calling directly to my heart and mind.  I closed my eyes for a moment and used the traditional formula from scripture: Here I am, Lord.  The rush of joy that came from Jesus at my response brought a smile to my lips.

Coventry's River: Whitley to the End: Into the Sunset! by amandabhslater
Coventry's River: Whitley to the End: Into the Sunset! by amandabhslater

Jesus took my hand and started to run. We ran and skipped and jumped and danced in the green grass, under a beautifully blue summer sky.  A river ran below the meadow, and we ran and skipped and jumped and danced mostly in that direction.  It was so exhilarating, to feel the soft grass beneath my feet, to spin and whirl around, to become breathless.  It was as if all of Creation had been given to us for this one amazing time of joy and wonder.

We came to the river, dipped our toes in to test the water, and then splashed in the shallows.  We scooped and splashed water at each other, laughing and jumping and shouting for joy.  Jesus sang, and I sang, too.

And then, my eyes opened and I was at work again.  I wrote a poem about it (though not a very good one), and included it below the fold if you’d like to see.  Rivers have long been an important symbol in my spiritual life, and water is such an important metaphor in scripture.  I’m sure that there is much for me to learn in reflection on this vision, but in the meantime, I relish the exhilaration and wonder and joy of it.

Okay, so here’s that not very good poem.  🙂

The Beloved Calls
June 15, 2001

The Beloved calls
Come with me!
Swim with me!
Splash with me in the river.

The Beloved calls
Sing with me!
Laugh with me!
Dance with me in the river.

Let us take off our clothes
and squish mud with our toes;
let us sing, let us play,
let us dance in the river.

The Beloved calls
Drink with me!
Eat with me!
Just be with me at the river.

The Beloved calls
Jump with me!
Play with me!
Love me in the river!

Let us find smooth stones
and leave the world alone;
let us laugh, let us splash,
let us dance in the river.

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