4: 1st Vision

The first vision I had was during an imaginative meditation my RCIA sponsor taught me called The Buckboard.  Because a buckboard is basically a lidless box with a pole extending out, the seat is sort of suspended over the open bed.  You can store things in that space under the seat, like a picnic basket to surprise a girl or a rifle to surprise a bad guy.  In the meditation, you are to imagine yourself in the buckboard holding the reins and Jesus getting in and sitting beside you.  You hand Him the reins and see what happens.

In this meditation,  I was alone in church kneeling in a pew which, at that time, was very comfortable for me.  In my scene, my buckboard was on a dirt road in front of a one story wooden building.  It was a bright early summer day, high puffy clouds floating by, a slight breeze.  Not too hot, I am not a fan of heat.  Oh, and in my worlds there are no buzzing or stinging or creepy insects, either.  My imagination, my world.  In the standard guided form of this meditation, you see where Jesus takes you and you can look behind you into the back of the buckboard to see what is in there.  I had no guide, I was doing it by myself.

I imagined Jesus and I just moving along and,  I saw someone up ahead I knew who would want to get in and sit next to Jesus.  Interestingly, this person was an enemy of mine, who'd been undermining me in real life. This is where my meditation ended and my vision began.  I was no longer in church imagining anything, I was climbing over the seat, getting into the back to make room for the person.  I sat cross-legged in the bottom of the buckboard, and slid back under the seat.  It was nice there, in the shade under the seat, listening to the horse clop-clopping along, feeling safe with Jesus driving. He stopped and picked up the person and I could hear them chatting, though I was not paying attention to what they were saying.  The bed of the buckboard was empty in the bright sunlight.

Then, I turned my head to the left and saw next to me, in the shadow under the seat, a large rock.  More of a  boulder.  It looked volcanic in nature.  A rusty, crumbly, filthy rock, the surface of which flaked off when I ran my hand over it.  I kept rubbing in one place and finally all the black-brown crumbly stuff came off and underneath it was the most beautiful, smooth-surfaced, clear quartz crystal.  Then I knew the whole thing was this lovely crystal and that I could remove all that ugly surface. That was the end of the vision.  I opened my eyes.

Why was it a vision and not an imaginative meditation?  Because it took off on it’s own and happened to me instead of being imagined by me.   And everything of the real world was gone, just as in a dream, but of course, kneeling in a pew, I wasn't asleep. When it was over my eyes opened.  I didn’t stop myself or wake up or make a choice about that.   But I did know that it was a message.

Inside me, each of us, is this beautiful perfect thing, maybe it's the soul, but it is the essence of our being.  That filthy surface was how I thought of me and also what I carried with me.  It was put there.  Whether others put it there, (as from abuse) or circumstances, or my own sinful choices hardly matter.   Jesus carries us and guides us, but we are responsible for getting all that crap off. And it doesn't happen instantly, it's a long journey.

 Jesus came to me and sat with me, had me with Him all the time, even though all that ugly stuff came along with me.  You might think the way I say this that at that time I had a big AH-HA! and got all the depth of meaning so obvious now.  Nope.  Because while I understood much of the message, most of me rejected it.  You might be amazed at how hard it is to convince anyone, including yourself, that you are a beautiful pure spirit.

My two insights were that the crystal is like buying one in a store and putting it on stand on a table. You show it to people and they will say, “What a nice crystal.” Or, you can dust it off and hang it by a thread in the sunlight, and the crystal refracts the light and everyone notices the beautiful colors on the walls and hardly notices the crystal at all.

From the Catechism: 
1877 The vocation of humanity is to show forth the image of God and to be transformed into the image of the Father's only Son. ...

We have to get shed of our junk in order for the Light to be made visible through us. But it's not possible unless Jesus takes over, and that's not possible unless we get out of the way and place the reins in His hands.