Audio version read by author moonlight-meditations-ss-1-29-21.mp3

Stepping outside onto my deck at midnight is like magically entering another realm. The silver moonlight bathes the yard in an eerie wash that makes the rocks around the pond shimmer. The moon sits in queenly majesty ruling the dark sky, stars twinkling around her, wispy clouds reverently sliding past. The air, though crisp, seems to caress, denser in some ethereal way than the bright daytime breeze. God seems nearer, almost palpable. At first it seemed like the Father, but He presents more like the God of the day, bright with shining revelation and power. Instead, I sense the Spirit filling the calm space and peace washing over my soul. If it is merely imagination I welcome it.

Perceptions seem clearer in that quiet opaque world. Choices that in the sunlight seem either good or bad are here revealed to be siding with God – or not. Judgment, which in the light of day, seems handed down from a stark calculated evaluation of performance, now seems to be merely the logical organic outcome of my preferences. Resisting His ways seems rational, appropriate, and even enjoyable during the bustling day, but in the quiet moonlit reflection it feels more like poison, like a betrayal of life itself. Sin is exposed in this pale fairyland soul-space as suicidal, the thallium of the heart, drying up the energy flowing from the Eternal to the vines that curl forth from Him into my very being. (Thallium has been called the “poisoner’s poison” since it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless; its slow-acting, painful and wide-ranging symptoms are often suggestive of a host of other illnesses and conditions, making it undetectable unless suspected.) Sin – Satan’s thallium! Evaluated actions conspicuously expose either God-trust or self assurance, turning toward or turning away from Life and Love. Ego is insulted at the idea of taking responsibility for refusing life on His terms. I have so long felt sulkily safe, unfairly held to account by a stern demanding Sovereign, imagining I would be protected by the popularized denial of such a harsh God. This secular illusion can become a comfortable rationalization. Somehow the softness of the surroundings and the embrace of Love melts that notion into absurdity.

When Jesus warns that those who do not find their source of life in Him will be dried up and eventually burned, the gardener in me can relate. Once the vines dry up it is impossible for nutrients to flow through them, only disease and decay. They lie as stiff shriveled shells, useless conduits despite the best efforts of the gardener. Judgment is cleaning up the garden, not a vindictive act. Fortunately for us there is an antidote to the constricting poison of sin – it is blood. Not ours, but Jesus’, His life-force untainted by self-assertion and voluntarily offered. And contrary to every fiber of our earthbound mortal mindset, it is appropriated by a spiritual, not a physical action – trusting Jesus enough to ask for His forgiveness, attaching ourselves to a new source of vitality. It is a lifesaving drug, the ultimate vaccine, counteracting the constriction of sin, opening connection to the Eternal. Fruitful association with the source of all good or poisonous attachment to the father of lies affects more than this wispy mortal existence. It determines our future as immortals. The master Gardener is not only interested, He is highly invested. He offers the opportunity, but does not insist that we enjoy His abundant life. Mysterious! Counterintuitive! Glorious!

I think I will go out to my deck tonight to meditate. The moon will be full.