Friday, March 31, 2006

Vision of Glory Divine...or Apartment Complex?

About 45 minutes ago, I woke up from a very vivid, wonderful, and strange dream. Here's a quick recap of it...

It was early morning, before the sun was completely up. I was looking through a window admiring the cloud formations. As I looked loonger and stared more intently, I saw something beyond the cloud formations. I saw a massive architectural structure that looked like a kingdom. It was something right out of a Maxfield Parrish painting. It had a kind of "Is it really there or not?" feeling about it. I kind of had to squint to see it as it tended to flux in and out of focus. It looked extremely far away, but it exerted a presence and feeling that was nothing short of majestic.

"Is this a vision of Heaven? Is this what it looks like" I thought to myself in my dream.

I remember hoping in my dream that this was some sort of mystic, Heavenly vision that the Almighty was giving me, all the while fearful that this was really nothing at all.

In my dream, I ran to get our new digital camera to take a photo. You guessed it, the camera wasn't working! Drat! I proceeded to find people that I wanted to tell about it and show them to. Somehow, I knew instinctively that this wouldn't last long. On my short journey, I found some relatives and friends that I told about. "I'm pretty sure I had a vision of glory divine!" I said to them.

Somehow I got sidetracked in my dream and ended up in a toystore in the action figure aisle of course. I bought some action figures and somehow ended up with a bag full of figures I didn't want or need. Anyways I finally found some friends and relatives to tell about the massive Heavenly architecture I was seeing.

"That's just...that's just an apartment complex that so and so owns," one person told me.

"What? It can't be! I saw it it was real...well...maybe it...was just an apartment complex that so and so owns."

In my dream, we returned to the place where I had seen the architecture. It had gotten dark out again, and there was massive billowy cloud formations. I looked and squinted, yet I could not see the kingdom in the sky. I looked in the sky throughout the remainder of my dream to see if I could catch a glimse of it, yet it was gone.

I awoke to Handel's Messiah on my alarm clock radio. As my wife and I lay half awake quietly debating who's going to get up first, I remembered the dream and told her about it. After I got up, I continued to think about the dream.

It seems that we all go through life seeking something. God seems to invite us to look past the mundane of everyday life as well as the greatest joys and pleasures as well as the tragedies and difficulties to see a reality beyond that of our own.

There are times in our lives when we hear these rumors of another world. When we get glimpses of the cosmic narrative that is unfolding that we are a part of. But what will we do with the rumors? what will we do with this cosmic narrative? Will we let them lead us to the reality and source of our greatest joys and the Father who will carry us through our darkest hours, or will we look away, do things by ourselves, pretend we are on own?

When you look past the "chance occurrences" of your life do you see a meaningless universe caused by chance and blind natural laws...or do you see the God who knit you together in your mother's womb, provides for you, and sent His Firstborn into the world to rescue you from Hell's fury and the dominion of darkness?

Do you see a vision of glory divine...or an apartment complex?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Friday, March 17, 2006

Flea Market Booty

Ahhhhhh....the flea market.

The flea market came to town the other week. The days leading up to the event I tend to fantasize at what I might find there. (That's sad, I know.) Will I find a sweet "Sectaurs" action figure at the bottom of a box filled with hordes of Happy Meal crap? Will I find a copy of Howard the Duck #13 in a fifty cent box of comics? Who knows the prizes or disappointments that await me?

I've got a system to scouring the grounds of the flea market.

I usually arrive and come in thrugh the front. In the front you find some of the more strange merchants; people selling shirt with wildlife animals on them, guys who will clean your jewelry with their special serum, the japanese family who sells boxed baking goods and everything from toothbrushes to bootleg, unauthorized Spiderman knockoffs, the psychic ladies who will read your palms, and guys with mullets selling NASCAR stuff.

I quickly weave my way throught these aisles occassionally being "tempted" by a vendor to have my wedding ring cleaned, or buy a fake fish mounted on a piece of wood that will sing a stupid song when you walk past it. These aisles prove quite fruitless.

The flea market rear is where my destiny lay. This is the "Antique and Collectible" section. Usually there's a guy named John who has boxes upon boxes of fifty cent comics. (I might add that that my raiding a box of fifty cent comics has become to me a hint of glory divine believers will drink deeply of in Heaven.)

I reached my destiny. Didn't find much. I passed on the fifty cent comics this time. I guess I wasn't FULLY convinced that I NEEDED a copy of the comic book adaption of "The Last Starfighter"#2. I DID find a cool Voltron "Pidge" action figure (left) for fifty cents and a Secret Wars "Baron Zemo" figure. As a kid, I had the full collection of Voltron figures, so it brought back some good memories. On the other hand, I never had Baron Zemo as a kid. I got him for $1.00 with his belt intact.

My daughter found a yellow "Care Bear" keychain for seventy five cents. My other daughter found a purble bouncey ball with bumps that caught her affections. My wife, unsurprisingly, didn't find anything. Though a couple years ago, she almost bowed to the pressure of buying some jewelry cleaning serum. (I think she felt obligated since the nice man cleaned her wedding ring for free.)

Next week, the Flea Market returns!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Christ Healing the Invalid: Part 3

I was at the "Oh man, is this piece gonna survive?"stage of this piecee. Usually happens when I start the coloring process. Anyways, I picked a muted color pallet and then just today, I had the idea to add some snapshots of candlelit textures. Thus far I'm digging it. I still have to add tints and shades and stuff, but I'm past the crisis point.