On Monday I watched a clip of an interview. Someone famous recently got married. The interviewer asked the actor when they knew their spouse was “the one.” The actor said that after his father died he had a difficult time coming to terms with the loss. At one point, he went to bed and when he closed his eyes he witnessed flashes of light within his consciousness. He couldn’t explain the experience with words, because it was more about emotions, but at that point he felt he had encountered God. He knew he could let go of the weight of his grief and relax, knowing his father was ok and still a part of him. He then went on to say that when he met his spouse, they had an immediate friendship and a lovely courtship. At one point he was, again, falling asleep one night and he experienced those same flashes of light within his consciousness. He said he wasn’t certain if he actually saw flashes of light, or if he had just experienced an ‘ah-ha’ moment where things seemed clearer to him, but at both times, he knew he had encountered God because he knew he had encountered love.
I can relate. I’ve seen flashes of God through flashes of love, myself, but these flashes were not light when I closed my eyes. These flashes were even brighter and my eyes were wide open. I wasn’t going to sleep; I was witnessing the joy of our Community Fun Day. I saw flashes of toothless smiles as a grandfather waved to his grand daughters who were heading off on a carriage ride. They were flashes of hugs from a grown woman who encountered one of her old teachers in our midst and stopped to share stories and laughter from a time long ago. I saw flashes of laughter and joy as a young child made it to the top of a climbing wall and turned to wave at family before heading down the slide on the other side. I saw flashes of contentment as children and adults stopped in the shade to pet a docile donkey and a curious goat. I saw flashes of relief as crowds brought their lunches into our air conditioned fellowship hall to sit for a moment and enjoy the cool air while eating with their friends. I saw flashes of love in a quick, unprompted hug from a child to a complete stranger who could spell their name correctly (and fast) on their nametag. I saw flashes of care for God’s creation in the many children bringing up their refuse and placing each item carefully in the recycling and compost bins we had available for them. I saw flashes of gratitude in the many faces who lined up to receive a simple meal and drink that was offered to them. I saw flashes of pride as parents watched their children (our children) work carnival games and pass out prizes to our many guests. I saw flashes of awe and wonder as one after another lined up to have faces and arms painted. I saw flashes of entertainment as crowds gathered to sit in the shade and enjoy some music and one another.
I saw flashes of love, friendship, hospitality and compassion as our folks welcomed so many in the name of Christ, sharing the many blessings we have been privileged to enjoy, with all who came to our Community Fun Day. I saw flashes of God within each of you.