On Good Friday pasts, I’ve adorned bunny ears with and without a tail.
Good Friday 2014, however, was not one of ears or tail. Instead, it was filled with Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Christy Nockels, Kristian Stanfill, and Louie Giglio at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta.
It’s supposed to be spring down here in the south but it’s been a mixed bag of pollen, sunshine, rain, wind, and freezing temperatures. Still, I was able to ignore physiological responses to the elements and enjoy the music. Yes, this time, I enjoyed the performances …compared to last time when every song just hit the right strings and I was snotting up the whole place.
What grabbed my attention as the concert was starting, though, wasn’t the sold-out venue or the quality acoustics. Rather, it was this cement wall to my left.
In the way that the water stains dripped down to the various shapes, faces, and animals I saw, I felt as though a tapestry of the human condition was on display for me. Ancient profiles and proto-life reached out for recognition. I then looked at the trees behind this wall. You can see the tips of the trees in this photo below:
The trees’ branches were waving to the breeze and as my eyes traveled up and down the trunk of the tree in the middle, I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye a bright orange light that was underneath the dark bark. This tree continued to emit that orange light into my mind’s eye through the duration of the concert. In fact, when Louie Giglio was reaching the apex of his talk, I felt bathed in the light of this tree. I saw it in my mind.
A truth suddenly became very clear to me that God was the tree, the tree was God. God is nature. Nature is God. And Nature was telling me it is alive, healing, and longing for acknowledgment. He, She is not a Zeus-like entity sitting atop a throne in a palatial arena, indiscriminately rewarding and punishing human beings. I had never thought of the Judeo-Christian God as such a force. Man has commodified the concept of being a decent and graceful, sentient being. Even if it began with good intentions, there’s no wrong or right way NOT to be an arse-hole. God is not imprisoned in scripture and scrolls; His wisdom and love is not something one can buy with money, souls, or promises.
He is the tree that wants a second look, because if you set your eyes on it for more than a minute, it will reveal its hidden beauty.