Part 1 – written during May 11-19, 2015
The ‘Have I blown it’ panic-fest has continued to varying degrees for the better part of two months now. There’s no value in relating all the ugly doubt and fear I’ve been wallowing in, other than to say that I recognize such living is not what God would have for any of us, no matter the circumstances. I have fought against the self-obsessed nature of it all by deliberately praying for other people and things more than usual. Or maybe I’ve been praying for other people and things as much as usual or even less so; but it just feels like more, because it’s always painful to consider the welfare of others when I’m worked into a nice fit of navel-gazing. I’ve also been talking to God a lot. Begging, complaining, reminding, wrestling. Wrestling with myself, I assume.
I had begun to write what became several pages of back story, to give context to the current situation. Some of the back story is already in this blog; a lot of the relevant back story has happened just in the past two months, since the dream and subsequent sense of loss and/or oppression. In the interest of time, I will compress: life is much simpler when we are obedient to God. The End.
During the weekend of May 8-10, I spent a lot of time reading: WWII history; Bible; and this http://www.net-burst.net/book/c3.htm book, which I’d printed out back in 2010 (I printed the whole book, not just the third chapter). I read for the better part of both Friday and Saturday. Then I lay down to take a nap after a brief read on Sunday after church. When I closed my eyes I ‘saw’ an image of a printed page. I sleepily assumed I was seeing some residual image from the last page I’d read. I fell asleep aware that something just wasn’t normal about the scene.
I awoke about an hour later. I could still see the image with my eyes closed. It was a white background with black text. I tried to focus on any of the words; nothing was clear enough for me to actually read. I blinked my eyes rapidly, and the negative image of the text appeared in my eyelids. Normally, when you stare at something for a bit and then close your eyes, you immediately see the negative image of your last view, followed by a positive image that fades rapidly. I didn’t see any way that the image I was seeing could be left over from my previous readings, an hour earlier.
I also realized that when I blinked my eyes, the image would change. I couldn’t read the words, but I could tell that the words were different from view to view, and the view changed each time I opened my eyes. Eventually the black text on white background faded from view. However, I was able to get the unreadable words to appear again, though not on a white background, if I let my eyes rest behind closed eyelids.
This whole episode went on for about twenty minutes. I tried to remember if anything like that had ever happened before. I’ve always been an avid reader; and I couldn’t remember ever seeing anything like this happen, even after marathon reading sessions. I’m familiar enough now with the reality that aging promotes bodily injury from doing things that used to not injure. Maybe I damaged my eyes from reading too much? More hopefully, was this some new God thing? On May 10, I was still fully engaged with worry that I’d somehow short circuited a destiny that had been shaping up nicely, if at a glacial pace and in ways that rarely made sense at first glance. If, it in midst of all that panic, God might show up in yet another new way, that would be pretty cool.
Hours later, when I was in bed for the night, I could still see lines of text against the backdrop of my closed eyelids. By the next day, I couldn’t see anything unusual. And I couldn’t conjure anything out of the blackness beneath my eyelids. I spent a week wondering off and on what in the world had happened. It is worth emphasizing that at no point in the twelve-ish hours that this phenomenon occurred did I ever ‘see’ the words when my eyes were open.
On May 18 I woke up at exactly 0430. I tried to sleep for a while and finally got out of bed at 0500. I read Ephesians and one chapter of the Grantley Morris book, which took me a little less than an hour and half. I got back in bed with forty-five minutes remaining until I had to get up to start the day in earnest. I fell asleep pretty quickly, with no thought whatsoever about the weird images I’d seen eight days prior. My alarm went off at 0700. I reached over and grabbed the clock, noting the time. I turned the alarm off and put my head back down and closed my eyes. Immediately, I saw a white field with black text again. This time, I could see the letters, crisp and clear. They were Latin alphabet letters, arranged in English-like words and sentences. But they were all nonsense words. Letter salad. And the image stayed intact, even if I blinked my eyes. The week prior, the image changed from one blurry page to another, each time I blinked my eyes. Not this time. Like the first time, however, I was unable to see the image unless I had my eyes closed. My schedule that day was such that I had to be get out of bed immediately, so I didn’t have a chance to poke around on it.
Hours later, I didn’t see anything unusual on my eyelids when my eyes were closed. I did not know what to make of it. It was interesting, to say the least. I believed and still believe it’s a supernatural thing; maybe preternatural, whichever best fits. There’s no normal physical explanation for these two episodes. I couldn’t find any evidence on the internet that anyone had experienced this thing before. If the phenomenon isn’t from my own mind, then it must be from God or the Dark Side. I personally hope that it’s a gradual revelation of some means by which God will communicate with me in the future.
Part 2 –written during May 25-27, 2015
I’ve got a ton of neck/shoulder damage accumulated over my lifetime; and a recent injury has really left me in bad shape. Last night, before going to sleep, I lay in bed for a while mashing on a pressure point up in my collarbone area. The pain and ultimate relief from that pressure point runs down through my shoulder and into the inside of my forearm. One of my shoulder muscles was subsequently twitching a lot, as I fell asleep.
Today (May 25) I woke up at 0215, with a sensation of throbbing pain in my forearm arm. The pulse of pain would come about every ten seconds, mostly filling my inner forearm. I was aggravated in my half-wakefulness, foggily aware that my recent neck/shoulder injury seemed to be spreading its influence in new ways. I forced myself back to sleep.
At 0445 I awoke again to the same obnoxious sensation. I was by then alert enough to recognize that it was an atypical pain. I’ve experienced many varying degrees and shapes of discomfort related to my neck and shoulders over the years; this one was different. It felt like someone was prodding me awake. POKE…POKE…POKE. “Alright, already.” It was a good time to get in some Bible reading and still catch a little more shut-eye before I had to officially start the day.
I swung my feet out of bed. “It’s Monday. Maybe if I get up and read for a while, I’ll get to see those words again.” So I did get up and read for a while. I was back in bed by 0600 and was asleep by 0630. I awoke about an hour later and immediately checked to see if the words were back. They were not. I wondered if I could make them appear. I could. With my eyes closed, I just ‘looked’ for the words. And there appeared a blurry image of back text on a white background. There were large spaces between what appeared to be sentences. The letters were indistinct enough that I couldn’t see if the text constituted coherent prose.
The room was lit by indirect morning sunlight. My face was covered by a beige bed sheet. Inside this well-lit tent, I blinked my eyes rapidly. The text remained visible even when my eyes were open. As long as I stared at a lighted background I could see the vision without having my eyes closed. And then it was gone. The whole thing lasted no more than ten seconds. By way of rapid debriefing while still prone, I noted that the blurry presentation was back, which seemed to be a step backward. But the text remained visible even when I’d opened my eyes, which felt like progress. I didn’t realize until typing this right now, two days after the fact, that there had to be some significance to my being able to will the image into view. I’ve tried many times since then to will it back. No go. I was able on that Monday morning and haven’t been able to since then. I didn’t imagine it into existence, for certain.
Part 3 – written on May 31, 2015
It’s worth the effort to expect something else will happen in the morning. If not tomorrow, then I fully expect to see more of the text vision at some other time in the future.