Imagine being woken up tomorrow morning by voices in your head, or voices that you thought were in your head. Imagine groggily coming round, sick in your stomach, disoriented by fear because of the sonic traffic that the voices in your head were creating: unfamiliar tones, unrecognisable expressions – a mystifying medley of unearthly voice. Imagine waking tomorrow morning to experience something akin to a dream and yet that was not a dream; something understandable and yet utterly bewildering.
You would be afraid.
But wouldn’t the fear be worth it?
If you also instinctively knew that your acute bout of anxiety was directly due to a veil of scales being removed from your ordinary, daily wakefulness – that your temporary disorientation was leading you to a higher state of revelation?
Imagine then being sufficiently reassured to stumble downstairs, open a door and enter your back garden, only to find that the cacophony inside your head grew louder and increasingly melodic. Imagine looking to the clouds in the sky with squinting reflex and a two-handed sheltering of your eyeballs, perfectly aware that every-day sounds are now fully muted by a transcendent summons to worship.
Dawning on you like something resembling new birth, the sun and the sky, the moon and the stars, the clouds and horizon beyond, are recounting Someone’s worth.
This is an announcement of glory.
Adjusting to this new spiritual terrain with a kind of instantaneous progress, running inside and back upstairs, grappling for the Bible by your bed, you frantically rummage through the pages to Psalm 19 like a famished child wolfing down the bread.
Rubbing your eyes as they absorb the first five verses like a mini pentateuch, all remnants of heart-fear are dissolved as a loving explanation reverberates through the unused recesses of your mind: the normal oblivion of your humanity to the speaking testimony of creation, of the obviously immanent majesty of God, has been removed:
Your oblivious experience of the Presence has been replaced with an enlarged capacity to hear creation’s call to worship and its looping salutes by way of testimony. You have been included within the cosmic throng of adoration and woken from your spiritual slumber by a Word that spills over constantly through the sun and moon of day and night.
Secluded on your knees like a pebble in a brook, a brimming unction to demolish the oblivion in others rushes in to the space where your own oblivion once was.