My life has suddenly converged on this week with so much coming due at once. Several projects with contacts spread across the country, I have been emailing and writing and planning and coordinating. I also have a family and field trips and grocery shopping and care taking.
And today, one of the many tasks I must undertake is to find a “veil” for my son who plays Airsoft. This is a military simulation sport where participants fire plastic bb’s at one another. His request for a “veil” is a cloth of some sort (frayed, fringed or otherwise NOT flat) that he can camouflage to keep himself hidden at an overnight event. I plan to raid the local Goodwill store.
But of course, here again is an opportunity to look beneath the obvious to find the hidden inspiration.
In the book of Matthew (and Mark and Luke, too), the Bible talks about the veil of the temple being rent (torn) in two when Jesus died on the cross. Here is what GotQuestions.org says about the veil, “in the temple a veil separated the Holy of Holies—the earthly dwelling place of God’s presence—from the rest of the temple where men dwelt.”
I hadn’t really thought about the idea that a veil was a separation between God and man. In Biblical times, Jewish priests were the only ones allowed beyond the veil into the Holy of Holies and that only once yearly. So it seems that there wasn’t really a concept of God talking with an ordinary person (and never a woman or child!)
But clearly God did speak with men, women, and children! Even in the Bible. He/She isn’t confined to a room in a temple, and maybe this is what the Gospels are alluding to.
And while I can see that this notion is much more accepted today, I think there is a much greater sense of the presence of God that we can embrace. Its not just that God is over there caring for us over here. That still indicates a veil!
My concept of God is so much closer than that–to suggest that we are separate from God at all (even suggesting we are infinitely close) misses the mark. I like to think of God as All Life living itself as us. We are the verbs of Life. God runs, and we are the running, just as the wind isn’t separate from the blowing! Then the veil truly is rent!
Try that on and let me know what you think.