Sometimes things are so glorious that one just does not have the earthly words to explain the phenomenon that was or is being experienced to another human. As my book states, sometimes this English language just does not have enough and glorious enough words to do the subject justice. One must then utter the words of St. Philip trying to instruct his friend Nathaniel about his great discovery, Jesus of Nazareth, “Come and see.” (John 1:46) Sometimes that is the only and best way to invite someone to experience that great adventure – to invite him/her to walk in your shoes and make the same discovery that you just made.
For me, I have had several occasions where experiences were gained that were not ones I could scrape words together to properly do the experience justice. Being the week before this year’s greatest sports spectacle on earth, one of those events is attending the Indy 500. Our group of old college buddies go every year. It is a treat; however, to bring a new person who has yet to experience the Indy 500 pageantry in person. We try to explain to this individual what it is like and what he will experience. We usually then end with a statement that we have not done the experience justice and the person just needs to experience the majesty himself.
I can then see, in this rookie’s eyes, that he thinks he knows just what he is in for. Then, the day of the race, as soon as we get out of the car and start the long walk through the local Speedway neighborhoods toward the track, the eyes change. Suddenly the newbie is in a different world than he anticipated. As we near the track, walk inside and all these 200,000+ people are there, we then see the rookie’s eyes widen deeper. The new guy then looks at us and comments how great and unexpected this all is, way surpassing his expectations and our glorious descriptions. We grin because we know what is about to happen.
Next, the race starts. The first burst of cars careen around that first turn toward us with fireworks blasting and crowd cheering. That is when the rookie begins to plan who he is going to try to tell this story of his wonderful experience to. He will find the same loss or lack of words. He will utter St. Phillip’s immortal words, “You have to come and see for yourself, I can’t do the greatness justice.”
So true is our experience with Jesus. My personal encounter with Jesus and His works before and after our house fire was one that jolted my Faith journey. It was an Ah Ha moment. A moment of such brilliance, awe, peace and joy that I find myself rambling, trying to piece together words that explain what happened to me and the immense gifts received during my experience. The thing that usually happens next is my emotions take over. I feel the tears welling up as I run through my thoughts and feelings, remembered from those times 20 years ago.
We need to proclaim Jesus’ name for all to hear. When we have had our encounter with Jesus Christ, we need to be as the rookie experiencing his first Indy 500, and now plot who will I next tell this glorious story to. It does not matter that there won’t be the words grand enough to explain what Jesus has meant and done in our life. Your face will tell the story. Your emotions will tell the story. And the best thing, in the end, that we can then utter to our brother or sister in Christ is, “Well, just come and see.” Amen.