Sunday, April 15, 2018

Coming Out: The Magic Edition

So here's the thing. I believe in magic. I believe that most everything around us is magic. Magic not as an illusion that one learns to fool and delight others. Magic not as a cloak of evil one wears to accomplish selfish means. Magic as an energy that moves around in the air unseen. Perhaps it is the air itself.   Perhaps air obscures our ability to recognize the magic around us. Magic as moving with that energy to accomplish good in the world we are called to minister to.

In II Kings 6:17, "...Elisha prayed and said, 'Lord, I pray Thee open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."

In a non-Biblical reference, you might consider the movie "The Sixth Sense," where at the end you realize a thing that had been obvious the entire time but you were not aware of, that even the main character was not aware of, is at the core of the story. IS the actual story. I myself have rewatched the movies many times with that new information in mind and seen more each time. The truth of the story is not changed, only the perception or the interpretation of events.

I know that the word magic has all sorts of meanings to people, ranging from fun and harmless trickery to powered-by-evil sorcery. But I want to reframe the word to explain my perspective to others. What if we replaced instances of "miracles" in the Bible with "magic," if not in actual word, in implication. Miracles are things attributed to our Creator that defied "natural" explanation. At the time, anyway....once a thing is explained and defined by scientific method, it moves from under the heading of miraculous (magic) to natural.

But I ask you...does the explanation, the moving from not being understood to being understood actually change the magical properties involved? I just don't think so. I think God made this universe so massive and so dense with mystery and wonder that a thing doesn't need humans to define it. It simply is. It is, without being understood, and it is after being understood.

Trees and plants were believed to have magical properties for millennia. One thing explained by modern science is that plant life creates oxygen. I gotta tell you, that's magic. I breathe out carbon dioxide and trees and my ivy and my rosemary convert it back into breathable, a breathable, life-sustaining substance. So eventually the process was figured out, written down and explained to children in elementary school. The gooey gel inside aloe vera cactus is great for burns. In times past, people turning to a plant for its healing properties in this way could lead to punishment for witchcraft. Now it's sold in bottles in the first aid department. Chewing on the bark of certain trees relieved pain. Now it's sold in little tablets as aspirin, and is also used to combat heart disease. I don't think these things are any less magical before they were put through studies and approved for marketing. God imbued his creations with all sorts of gifts and uses and yes, even powers. "Not verified by the FDA" does not mean a damn thing in the grand scheme of what is and is not true. 

So, I believe in magic. I believe it is God's power and energy (and I believe that power and energy are God) and that it flows in and through wherever it is welcomed. I believe God is bigger, more expansive, just more, than what is contained in the Bible. God is not confined to the records therein. Exploring the presence of God in other places and times is not evil.

Jeremiah 29:13 and you will seek Me and you will find Me when you search for me with all your heart.

Matthew 7:7-11 ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. What man is there among you, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more then will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!

I always thought (and was taught) that that was about things, but what if it's about truth? I mean, Jesus said HE was truth, and the things he talked about always seemed to defy the personal or societal norm. I am seeking with all my heart to learn what is beyond what I've been taught. I am not looking beyond God for what is true, but I am exploring beyond what is recorded in the Bible for what else is true about God and His creation and His purposes.

This is causing a LOT of flak in my personal relationships. I understand that when I stray from what is solidly known about me, it's scary for others. But just as the truths about God are not affected by our beliefs and practices (or abstinence from certain beliefs or practices), the truth about me is the same no matter who thinks what about me.

And the truth about me includes the fact that I believe in magic. 

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