Phenomenal

I am currently finishing up reading a most wonderful book, Phenomenal: A Hesitant Adventurer’s Search for Wonder in the Natural World by Leigh Ann Henion. She writes about seven amazing natural wonders from different parts of the world: the monarch butterfly migration in Mexico, the bioluminescence in Puerto Rico, the Catutumbo lightning in Venezuela, the volcanic eruptions in Hawaii, the northern lights in Sweden, the great migration in the Serengeti in Tanzania, a total solar eclipse in Australia.

Admittedly not a very religious person, Leigh Ann found herself simply in awe and in total wonderment in the face of these phenomenal sights. She experienced a certain connectedness to an ineffable force that makes all life, all beauty and all awesomeness possible in the most impossible of places and times. She knew there was something, or even Someone, greater than what was before her eyes that created and put all of these in this world. The world is much richer and more magnificent than our feeble minds can imagine or our limited words can describe. Standing before such ineffable beauty, one simply feels and acknowledges the Source of it all.

I can only surmise this is as close as I can understand what Peter, James, and John must have felt at the Transfiguration.  In the face of the ineffable, I humbly pray, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here!”

The Lord is king, the Most High over all the earth.
~ Psalm 97

Jesus took Peter, James, and his brother John,
and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them,
and his clothes became dazzling white,
such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses,
and they were conversing with Jesus.
Then Peter said to Jesus in reply,
“Rabbi, it is good that we are here!
Let us make three tents:
one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified.
Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice,
“This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.”
Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone
but Jesus alone with them.
As they were coming down from the mountain,
he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone,
except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves,
questioning what rising from the dead meant.
Mark 9:2-10
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