An Eerie Feeling

Yesterday’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Leviticus 4-5; Matthew 24:29-51

Well, it would seem that I am over 24 hours behind on my blog. It has been a long week and last night I was exhausted and went to bed without writing my daily post. For those of you who are following the Journey Through Scripture Readings, my apologies for giving you two days readings in one day (I will post the actual Friday reading later today).

I also realized when I started preparing this, that Tuesday night when I wrote Wednesday’s post, for some reason I picked up the wrong passage for my writing. Sorry about that too. Oh well, it wasn’t the first mistake I made this week and since it isn’t Saturday night at 11:59, I feel pretty certain it won’t be my last. Anyway, with all the explanation done, here we go.

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29 “Now immediately after the suffering of that time the sun will become dark, and the moon won’t give its light. The stars will fall from the sky and the planets and other heavenly bodies will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Human One will appear in the sky. At that time all the tribes of the earth will be full of sadness, and they will see the Human One coming in the heavenly clouds with power and great splendor.31 He will send his angels with the sound of a great trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from the four corners of the earth, from one end of the sky to the other (Matthew 24:29-31, Common English Bible).

Walking outside on a pitch black night is such an eerie feeling. When you walk and it is so dark you can’t see your hand in front of your face I don’t think it is possible (though I could be wrong) to not have a bit of queasiness going on in the pit of your stomach.

At the very least it has to be a walk through the woods where the forest canopy blocks out all signs of stars in the sky. Another possibility would be total cloud cover.

When Hurricane Alicia came through the Houston Metro area in 1983 I had one of those feelings. Sure, a Hurricane can generate those eerie feelings all by itself. Even sitting in the house, listening to the wind howl can be pretty spooky.

That night in late August 1983, I stood in the doorway of my parent’s house with my four-year-old son beside me, we watched as the eye of the storm passed by. There was enough cloud cover we couldn’t see the stars but at the same time, everything was almost completely still. And, it was dark. It was eerie, spooky. It wasn’t like some horror movie or anything like that. It was just completely still when just minutes before it had been driving rain and tremendous wind.

A few years before, while I was in the Navy, I remember walking out onto the bridge of my ship on a moonless night. It was so dark. When I and a few other guys were walking out onto the weather deck trying to make our way to the signal bridge, we were greeted by a member of the watch who was going off duty. He was holding a flashlight with a red lens (In the Navy, at sea, you never have a white light on a weather deck). He knew how dark it was and he wanted to make sure we arrived on watch safely. Don’t take it that he was a nice guy, he just wanted to make sure he was relieved on time. Just kidding. It was a dark, dark night. The only thing that blocked out some of that eerie feeling were the stars, lots and lots of stars.

Imagine that same moonless night but as you look at the sky you see, not “shooting stars” but stars falling from the sky, perhaps a few at a time until they are all gone. The moon would go dark too because the sun, a star, would fall from the sky as well. It would be an endless night of darkness. The sun would never rise. It, being a star as well, would have fallen from the sky. It would be a feeling of eeriness that perhaps we might feel would never leave.

Such is what Jesus tells us things will be like that when he arrives. The stars will fall and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.

As I sit and think on this, it seems to me that such a feeling might be what we all could feel when we begin our journey from this life on earth to the life triumphant. Let me say here, I have not had a near-death experience. I don’t know what it might be like. What I write this night could be totally off base.

But still, we fall into that eternal (by earthly means) sleep. We experience a darkness around us and then we see Jesus, the Light of the World. Any feeling of eerieness is gone. Perhaps there had been a lingering doubt, but that too is gone. We know we are in the presence of the Christ. Could there be a better feeling than this?

Just my thoughts. I would love to hear yours.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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