I lay aside the quill as my eyes mist with remembrance. How often I think back to those sequenced events. Even today, some thirty years after the fact, my heart still quivers from the splendor of that night.
You see, I walked with this Man. His feet dirtied with the fine Jordanian clay as did mine. I talked with Him, around a noisy table, beside a crackling campfire, amid a jostling crowd, and through a silent grain field. I knew His voice: His subtle humor, His piercing passion, His Nazarite drawl. I snuck bites off His plate, teased Him for eating the crust last, and touched His arm when I wanted attention.
John says we “handled Him,” and I suppose we did, though the wonder of it still leaves me in amazement.
This Man could fall asleep on a boat during a storm but stay up all night, pacing the hills in prayer. The setting of the sun stimulated a fervor within Him that none of us understood. If we dozed, He slipped away to lonely groves and hillside crags, pacing out the humanity and divinity of His heart.
In Caesarea Philippi, He began asking questions, wanting to know what we heard from the crowds. For once, I held my tongue, listening to responses from others, and revelation within my soul. Like Job of old, I heard of Him that day, but it would be a week later before I truly saw His brilliance with my eyes. My misty moment of daylight testimony needed the clarification only He can bring surreptitiously into a black, inky night.
I never had the stamina for the third watch that energized Him so. Our excitement to join Him on the mountain waned at about 3:00 a.m. The silence, the shadows, and the seclusion lulled us into the sleep of the immature.
I’m not sure if the sound or the light awoke me first, for even the voices rang on my ear with indescribable brilliance. So stark was my scene from sleeping to waking, that I leaped from slumber, energized for action. I spoke instead of listened; planned instead of paused and watched the radiance of the fire wink out as quickly as if I’d pinched a candle with a wetted forefinger and thumb. As the majestic glory thundered His favor from heaven, the light retreated. Darkness, while unable to overtake light, returns eagerly when the brilliance dissipates.
I’ll never forget that night when the burlap of His humanity dropped briefly to grant us a glimpse of the gold-threaded tapestry within. This canvas Who quietly drove His tent stakes next to mine glowed with Shekinah glory while we witnessed His majesty. Yes, here is what I will say as I lift my quill again:
“We were eyewitnesses of His majesty. For when He received honor and glory from God the Father, such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, “This is My beloved Son with Whom I am will pleased” and we ourselves heard this utterance made from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain” (2 Peter 1:16-18).
Hallelujah! May we glow amidst this dark generation with this same radiance.