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For months now, my prophetic bend has been increasingly weighing on me like a lead vest at the dentist. I’m usually fine and oblivious, but I’m not anymore. I used to dip occasionally into melancholy, but lately this weightiness has taken up a domicile. I’m not a self pronounced prophet. I’m just like you, I possess a spiritual sense about things. I pick up on the collective consciousness of the world around me and it percolates through the granules of my composition just as they do in you. Living in and experiencing one’s prophetic vibration is not the ability to predict the future, I’m not a fortune teller, rather, the prophetic thrust of Spirit allows us to perceive that something more which lies right outside the sight lines of the masses who are distracted with lesser bits of reality.
Do you want to see? Really?
Following the prophetic inner experience doesn’t end with the accumulation of spiritual super powers as I had hoped, only the blind ego beholds this space with an agenda. Most of us truly despise feeling bad. We loath and fear our melancholy, and so we medicate, distract, avoid, or find some way to anesthetize ourselves with blame or hatred.
Please, someone turn on a sit-com.
To truly “go with” and follow the inner prophetic experience is a free-fall, a surrender, and the willing abandonment of normal. It’s a decline, a scourging, a self-emptying sacrifice of all we possess, all we think we are, and all outcomes. Prophetic vision is available to all of us. Prophetic vision, by definition, is spiritually seeing the answer for what it is, and that requires the removal of our egoic, false self with it’s shades to look cool, smart, and eloquent.
Is seeing it worth dying for?
The part that is left, the part that sees, isn’t much. It also has such a small hard drive that it cannot store what it perceives for very long. Prophetic vision is a flash, a blip on the radar, an existential awakening within a moment, not a way of life. Therefore, to capture a snapshot of the moment, one must endeavor to join in, be with, make space for, and receive, THIS moment. Chasing the nugget is a foolish miner’s errand, for it is either here now or it doesn’t exist at all. Our contemplative gymnastics only prepare us for receipt, but very poorly. When the loving answer comes, it crushes, it ruins everything. No wonder we reject the prophetic side of love.
“‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? “Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.” (Luke 20:17-18)
For some of you reading this, I know I sound insane. Those surrounding me in the descent will recognize these words are the best any of us can do, to feebly, imperfectly, under-describe the negative space of infinite love. I’m scared while simultaneously told not to fear. My body reacts and compels an escape, but a hand-like presence stays me. My mind recoils, it looks away, but a finger-like presence points me back to seeing. I thought things were bad, but from here it’s far worse, but strangely not hopeless.
The bad news from our media is not that bad. In fact, it’s a salve or balm to overlay a bigger infection. The religion of politics fronts with “priests” from each team, each promulgating fear, threat, hatred, lies, and propaganda. The kings or leaders, rather than possessing power, are seen through the prophetic lens as actually having no real power, no strength, no will, no pallet for righteousness.
From the prophetic line of sight, it is so clear, so vivid how the effect of the Truth will absolutely bring this facade to an end, but it must be the whole Truth. There is no place, such a puppet show could exist in the court of pure honesty. All the surface level reality that we think is true is, for the prophet, is but a vapor. Though a city of pseudonyms will cry out in protest, the Truth will ultimately be our end. This is why the sleeping world wants nothing of the truth and why we hunger for our story tellers to lull us back into our apathetic slumber.
“At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
and I will punish the men
who are complacent,
those who say in their hearts,
‘The Lord will not do good,
nor will he do ill.’
Their goods shall be plundered,
and their houses laid waste.
Though they build houses,
they shall not inhabit them;
though they plant vineyards,
they shall not drink wine from them.” (Zephaniah 1:12-13)
Yes, embracing the Truth will end all that is false. C.S. Lewis describes salvation as the moment when the truth as it is for us is replaced with the Truth as it actually is. This is why the prophetic impulse is so offensive to the superstructures, power plays, and status quo. Ultimate Reality has no stomach for pretense, pomp, or ritual. Though these may numb and assuage the guilt of the masses, in the moment of perfect reality, (The Day of the Lord) these will be seen for what they actually are, the delicate house of cards which is destined for failure.
“The great day of the Lord is near,
near and hastening fast;
the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter;
the mighty man cries aloud there.
A day of wrath is that day,
a day of distress and anguish,
a day of ruin and devastation,
a day of darkness and gloom,
a day of clouds and thick darkness,
a day of trumpet blast and battle cry
against the fortified cities
and against the lofty battlements.” (Zephaniah 1:14-16)
The prophetic lens of love, though terrible for us industrious fakers, is perfect and beautiful in it’s design for grace and freedom. The destruction and obliteration of the false, gives way to the truth which is ultimately what all humanity desires, but fails to obtain. Our best and brightest cannot prevent us from missing the mark. Our holy leaders cure one sin and replace it with ten more far worse than the first. The collective house is in such disarray, that restoration requires a total “gut job.” Those that perform the demolition are not to be feared, but trusted, for the dumpster out front means our redemption is at hand. My advice is not to clutch too tightly to anything because it will hurt when yanked from our hands.
“I will bring distress on mankind,
so that they shall walk like the blind,
because they have sinned against the Lord;
their blood shall be poured out like dust,
and their flesh like dung.
Neither their silver nor their gold
shall be able to deliver them
on the day of the wrath of the Lord.
In the fire of his jealousy,
all the earth shall be consumed;
for a full and sudden end
he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.” (Zephaniah 1: 17-18)
In that moment, the time, money and calories spent on maintaining a rotten infrastructure is of no value. If love is to have it’s way, if Truth is to be loved and followed, then all our gains have gained us nothing. The prophetic side of love is always restoration by way of demolition. It has to be. Thank God that it is. The downed tree must be removed, the blocked artery must be healed or flow ceases.
The words of the prophet are not a threat for one day. They are the present day visceral reminder that our endeavors; no matter how noble we think they are, are not what is most important to life. The prophetic moment is not eschatological, the judgement (bema) seat is now, now, now. The very best of our humanity is a tragic falling short and it is seen in the faces of all the marginalized, starving, broken, diseased, and downcast. It’s seen in the haughty, proud, and all winners.
The prophetic side of love is the absolute ruin of everything false. We know from all of human history that no kingdom, no country, and no generation has been able to live above pretending that our present reality is all there is. The prophetic vision sees all of mankind’s creations as futile, petty, and temporary and will struggle to play along. Society doesn’t want to be saved from it’s play land of make-believe. Your religion has no power beyond this world. While this sounds pessimistic, the prophet is deeply pleased (vindicated) to watch what cannot last be replaced with the only thing that can:
The question for us is will we now close our eyes to the Truth and return to our simulated life on the holodeck? Or will we join in the deconstructive work of love, and be marginalized outside of the playground until recess is over? All prophets are exiles from the cities they love. My heaviness, my burden is the same as yours. Once we see the true heart of the world and realize just how far the bubble is “off-plumb,” destruction becomes the hope of new life.
Let me make something very clear, the way mankind destroys society is not what I’m talking about. The way Love destroys society is the rebirth of a unified Kingdom of those who see. The old gives way to the new, paradoxical way of living. It’s here. It’s now. It’s in the midst of you. The Kingdom ethos, value and currency is not based in scarcity but abundance and service is the hallmark of a leader. This obliterates low consciousness cultures. It restores the broken world. Heaven displaces earth.
But that feels so far off and that sinking feeling returns.
I think Sören Kierkegaard captures the beautiful despair which is enrobing this prophetic moment as we find ourselves within the negative space of infinite love:
“When death is the greatest danger, one hopes for life: but when one becomes acquainted with an even more dreadful danger, one hopes for death. So when the danger is so great that death has become one’s hope, despair is the disconsolateness of not being able to die.” (A Sickness Unto Death)
And that, my friends, is why love can feel so bad.