I find it hard to visualise the Ascension without falling into an almost childish vision of something akin to the film Close Encounters or ET going home.
Sitting still and trying to imagine it or being lazier still and googling for images of it brings up literal images of a body disappearing up into the sky whilst we earthlings strain and tilt our necks in a fixated stance of shock, horror and awe.
I don't know which artist painted this version above, but the person on the lower right hand side does not seem the slightest bit fazed at the amazing event going on above her /his head...
Actually, now I look at it more closely what is this person actually doing ?
They seem to be sitting on someone else's head.
Now even I'm getting distracted from the main event.......)
Images abound of Christ being lifted in a whirl of cloud up up and away, adrift in a space beyond my reach to eventually find Him at last on land and sitting on some sort of throne ---
Nope - I just cannot relate to this at all.
And maybe that is the whole point.
God's way is above my head and understanding .
The only way in is via another route... the heart ??
We know His kingdom is not of this world.
Faith is so often about absence rather than presence.
How about you ? How do you picture it ?
|The Ascension rock on Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, said to bear the imprint of the right foot of Jesus as he ascended, venerated by Christians as the last point on earth touched by the incarnate Christ. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
This photo on the left is from The Ascension rock on Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, said to bear the imprint of the right foot of Jesus before he ascended.
We humans always want the hard unrefutable evidence, don't we?
There is nothing in my experience I can lay a hand on to picture it, so I have never really spent much time on getting to grips with it.
I always end up putting it down to just another one of those faith things that defy my human ability to describe it and I suppose I must have heard or read explanations throughout my Catholic life but none of them must have been that convincing or I would have remembered them.
Over at Contemplative Photography there is a poem by Mary Oliver that gets me a little closer to the Ascension......
"What I want in my life
is to be willing
to be dazzled --
to cast aside the weight of facts
and maybe even
to float a little
above this difficult world.
I want to believe I am looking
into the white fire of a great mystery.
I want to believe
that the imperfections are nothing --
that the light is everything--
that it is more than the sum
of each flawed blossom rising and fading.
And I do."
-- Mary Oliver "The Ponds"
My next offering below is a much more down to earth one and isn't even mine - my excuse is I have only been back a few hours from my hols so my spiritual brain lobes are not in working order.