I had been recently divorced, was unemployed for the summer, and found myself terribly depressed. Since I had very little money, I moved in with my mother. I still had access to my old design studio, which I thought I might put to some use, but as soon as I opened the door, I knew that I could not work under the circumstances. I needed relief from all the paralyzing questions swirling around in my thought.
There were many times prior to this experience that I had sought solutions from scriptural texts and received comfort and direction; however, occasionally, I would open to a passage that I just did not understand, and rather than being patient and listening for a spiritual explanation, I just skipped over it and went on to other passages. As I stood there, perplexed, I realized that my life looked a lot like my approach to Scriptural direction - I had been hoping to manage my life by skipping over the difficult parts. Now all those missed opportunities were just staring me in the face, and I knew that I could no longer leave blanks on the pages of life's script. I hauled a big table out of storage and set it up in the middle of my workshop. Then I collected all of my Christian Science reference books, along with a stack of yellow note pads, and arranged them neatly on the table. I did not want to skip a step. I pulled up a chair and sat down.
I took the first yellow pad and wrote 'What is Love?' across the top of it. As more questions occurred to me, I gave them each their own notepad. Soon I began studying - pursuing answers to these questions. When an insight came, I took note of it; when a passage was helpful, I copied it down. That first day I sat there for ten hours. It was not tiring; it was useful work. The next day I continued after the same manner. I was not seeking things. I was seeking to understand the cause that underlies peace, wisdom, and joy. This daily, prayerful pursuit continued all summer. Occasionally, I felt pressure to go out and earn some money, but I knew that what I was doing was more important, so I just let the debts pile up on a credit card, knowing that my wealth was accumulating in other ways.
One day, when it was about time for my seasonal employment to begin again, I got up from my table and walked out into the yard, deep in thought. What happened, as I stood there, cannot be fully described or understood by any telling of it, for there are no appropriate words. The world around me had vanished from my sight, and in its place stood two saintly people who I recognized immediately. These two individuals had disturbed my thought many times in the past, but now we were all transfigured. Personalities and all memory of a material history had vanished. In Biblical terms, the veil was lifted off. We were incredibly beautiful. We were perfect. We were also transparent, distinct in form though not material - the traditional concept of dimensional objects had a new meaning. We were light-radiant, standing weightlessly on a transparent sea, joyously communing with one another. This communion was not the same as talking humanly when only a single message at a time is spoken and heard. Spiritual communion is multi-channel messaging. Everyone knew what everyone else was thinking instantaneously and continually without moving the lips - a kind of glorious knowledge always available and universally known.
Then there came a moment when I felt something
like the grip of a hand come from behind me and draw a cloak of
darkness between me and the spiritual vision. Everything went
black. I heard a dreadful voice say, "You cannot look at
that," and there I was, conscious only of standing in the
yard. The material senses had returned to full force. Evidently,
some fear had entered my thought and brought me back to material
While I was transfigured, I saw what Saint John called "a sea of glass mingled with fire," and I can assure you that the so-called fire is not there to challenge, purify, or harm us (Rev 15:2). Its purpose is quite the opposite. We are wholly spiritual beings, and the fire is a wholly spiritual idea without heat. Temperature variations do not exist since there is neither physical sense nor matter. I think of it now as a Love-filled firewall of safety where harm is impossible, for fear is forever unconsidered. Sometimes, when I read the Bible today and question a difficult passage, I can go mentally back to that place where Spirit form exists, unrestrained by material conception, and see the answer.
When Peter, James, and John watched their dear Master commune with Moses and Elias on the Mount of Transfiguration, did they see the real spiritual Jesus for the first time? I believe they did, and I believe that we must all be transfigured to behold perfection.
An incidental benefit of this experience
became obvious when I went to my mother's home for dinner that
evening. Instead of what material history would suggest, she was
unburdened, openly cheerful, and generous. I had never witnessed
this kind of behavior in her before. For the first time in my
life, I was enjoying her company, and it brought a smile to both
of our faces.
George Denninger ©