Everything Is Symbolic part 7 Levular

Concession stand

Almost an oxymoron. They say “if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything”. Like most blanket statements and platitudes, they apply across a thin swath of life experience. And then when you factor in the Holy Spirit and realize that God indeed does have something very specific in mind for each and every situation you encounter (was it any different for Jesus?), you’ll see this homily freeze and shatter. The point I’m getting at is, perhaps there are things–blatant wrongs–that God would have you observe and do nothing about. Granted, there’s all sorts of latitude in this, numerous falsifiying instances in which “not saying something” would end in disaster. Jettison those and think about this with me for a moment.

“I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” (1 Corinthians 9:22b)

But first, I must confess that levular is a made-up word. Er, I mean, “a word”. Just because nobody else has used it (to my knowledge) and I’ve never heard it before doesn’t make it any less a word. And so whether you’re a prescriptive linguist (one who seeks to preserve the language at large) or a descriptive (one who merely observes and reports from the field), you can’t tell me (me) that levular doesn’t work. Sure, I could use “levelled” but for my point, “levelled” would necessarily be adjectival when normally it’s used as a verb. Like, “I levelled my gaze at him, silencing the argument”. Okay.

“And the rest will I set in order when I come.” (1 Corinthians 11:34b)

See, symbols, beyond a certain point are arbitrary. Extrapolate this out at large and you realize that God speaks to different people in different ways. Prophets, with their long hair and loud voice, throwing it out there to whoever “has ears to hear” are a very different medium than the dream. God speaks through one and the other and neither cancel each other out. As God is at once above His creation and also within down to the particle, every way He speaks carries weight and truth and love.

One night I dreamed I saw the hospital where my mom worked. It took place in the neonatal unit but it also looked like the inside of a local department store. You know how dreams are. Furthering the weirdness, the location also bore resemblance to an imagined intersection with the nurses’ desks a strange cross between that and a streetcorner mixed with fitting rooms and the like. I suppose it all means something but the dream continues. In the middle of all this, I enter an elevator that descends into the earth. I remember going down through many levels of rock with each age of the earth represented by panoramic, almost still life depictions of the period. It all felt odd but the take away message was that life is a mix of levels. Everyone is at a certain level. You, me, everyone. It isn’t about comparison, it’s about understanding that what means something to you doesn’t mean the same to me. And yet you can hear God just as clearly as I.

“This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)

Level this at the Body of Christ, knowing first that He loves us all the same, and you see, maybe a little, how God would have you only say nothing and pray when once you perceive something about your brother or sister that even they don’t. Or that they would die of fright if they knew you did. At our deepest level is our Heavenly Father. He loves us there. But–and this is just the way it is–even we don’t see down at that level. We are multi-levelled–levular, as it were–and as He loves us at our depth and even speaks to us there, other levels need some Spring cleaning. We attain to them as life goes on. It isn’t about charting this territory so much as it’s about pleasing God and loving ourselves and others with the love He’s shown us.

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