Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Feeling the Presence

I'm in the process of reading the short book Letter to a Man in the Fire by Reynolds Price. The book, which in actuality is an extended letter written to a young man who is forced to withdraw from medical school because of an aggressive cancer, contains a moving account of an elderly woman's mystical experience. She asserts that these experiences are infrequent but not uncommon, and then proceeds to describe her occurrence.

"...such inner events are much more common than people dare to admit. They carry their own authentication, I think, in the atmosphere of complete simplicity and great depth that surrounds them. Mine came at a time of medical stress, during some exhausting tests before an operation. I can't say 'it came' though; it was rather I went out to meet it...This time I went out along the Galilee hills and came to a crowd gathered around a man, and I stood on the outskirts intending to listen. But he looked over the crowd at me and then said, "What do you want?" I said, "Could you send someone to come with me and help me stand up after the tests, because I can't manage alone?" He thought for a minute and said, "How would it be if I came?"

I think his response to her applies to all of us. In the Gospels he makes this proposal over and over again.

Tom

4 comments:

Adrienne said...

Why Tom - this was your best post ever. So simple yet so profound.

Bless you and hug Critter

Auntie Adrienne

Tom in Vegas said...

Little Critter said big "MUAH" for Auntie Adrienne:)

Jaimie said...

Wow, that is very moving. It sounds like a powerful book, and thanks for sharing it.

Adrienne said...

See, see, see --- Jaimie liked it too:)