The Merry Mystic: Introduction, Part Two

This is the second part of my introduction to The Merry Mystic, my weekly letter.  This one hits the “mystic” in “merry mystic.”

Please leave a comment, a question, or just a quick blessing below, for me and all the other merry mystics out there. Have you had strange experiences of God that you don’t always feel comfortable talking about?  Scroll down and dare to share — you’re not alone!

Please think about serving others with your comments. Anything offensive or too off-topic, I'll delete.

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14 thoughts on “The Merry Mystic: Introduction, Part Two

    • Hi Katie,

      Thanks for that thought. You know, I’ve never associated this song with Advent before — but I will now!

      When I wrote it, back around 2003 or so, I was working as a church musician. I made a recording of it with the pastor of that church, and she gave it to a friend of hers who was dying. I heard later that this friend listened to “Fear Not, Said the Angel” over and over in the last weeks of her life, and that it brought her comfort. As you can imagine, that’s an association that stuck with me. It made me feel thoroughly blessed!

  1. I , like you, have reached a point in life where I no longer care if people think I am wierd. In 2005 I died, only for a couple of minutes but I died. I remember looking down on my body, 4 people, 1 dr. and3 nurses were working on me. I heard we’really losing her Behind me was a great light that showed around me. I knew if I turned around and headed to it I would be in heaven. The funny part is I was so nosy about what they were doing I just stayed and watched. I woke up 3 weeks later in a different hospital.
    I tell my story a lot. I want others to know . I have gotten some pretty weird looks and not so nice responses . But when the spirit tells me to share I do.
    Great song Adam. Thankd

  2. Beautiful song, Adam! I’d say, for me, it’s a song of celebration. Very, very touching. Thank you!

    You asked for stories from us, so I’ll give you one (though I want to send out a special thank you to Nan for sharing with us her cool, cool story–thank you!!!). And now for my story:

    Many, many years ago, while I was stopped at a light in the warehouse district of Staunton, VA, I had time to take in the dismal sights surrounding me: boarded-up houses on either side of the street; a dangerously angled limestone wall stretching precariously over a cracked, disheveled sidewalk; an old man beneath the leaning wall, his back flat against the sidewalk, taking a nap or simply drunk; trash blowing around him and into the streets; tall, lanky boys, pressed together in a circle, hunched shoulders facing out (drug deal, I assumed); and, standing on the curb next to my car, a scantily clad young woman who appeared to be a prostitute.

    Suddenly I found myself thinking, “Creator of this realm, this has got to be the ugliest piece of your creation I’ve ever laid eyes on.” And in that instant, everything changed. Suddenly the boarded-up homes, the trash in the street, the leaning limestone wall, the sleeping man on the sidewalk, the boys across the street, the woman on the sidewalk–everything was filled by, and pulsing with, the most beautiful light I had ever seen. In that instant I felt like, for the first time ever, I was seeing our world as it truly is. This light–whatever it was–seemed to be alive, and it was everywhere, … absolutely everywhere, as if it were a hidden backdrop to all things physical. “Whoa,” I whispered. “I stand corrected.”

    Since that time, whenever I find myself in a seemingly “ugly” environment, I always remember this light and imagine it pulsing within whatever that environment happens to be, and I always say hello to “It” (silently, of course–ha!ha!).
    -Shelley B.

    • Beautiful, Shelley! Thanks for sharing that experience. Your story reminds me of that wonderful Thomas Merton piece from his “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander: “In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers….There is no way of telling people that they are all walking around shining like the sun.”

    • Shelly, I have never seen this light , but I have felt it. That pulse of God’a true energy in this world. Thank you for sharing , I can now give it a name. God Bless! Nano S,

  3. Adam, Fear Not is probably one of my most favorite of your songs, all of which constantly bless me. As for the experiences of God and feeling able to discuss them in church. Well I would never have been accepted as the person I am and the life that I live in the churches I grew up in as a child, let alone discussing such experiences of the Divine. However, since my over 10 years spent at Open Prairie I have grown and now I have a different understanding of God, of the Bible and of spirituality. I know that each of us has our OWN spiritual journey, one that can not be had by anyone else and trying to make others subscribe to our spirituality is just well in my mind crazy.

    So I have an experience of God that I will share. I have not ever had any problems sharing it with others, even in that church where I grew up as a teenager. Actually that is when this experience took place. For me, it was a very moving experience. I use to attend the youth group every Wedensday evening, and we would always start the evening out by playing some sort of game. Sometimes it was inside or sometimes out. Sometimes it was more a sitting type game and sometimes it was very physical and sporty in nature. This one Wednesday, it was a running game outside. I had recently gotten my drivers license and also started wearing glasses. I didn’t want to run around with my glasses so I asked this one youth leader if he was going to be participating and if not could he hold my glasses. His name was Tom and he said he would surely hold my glasses for me. As it started to get dark we finished the game and went inside for our meeting. We then always started by singing songs together and looking at the words on an overhead. Well I noticed I couldn’t see the words on the wall and then I realize I needed to get my glasses from Tom. Well, unfortunately Tom could not find the glasses anywhere on himself. Well we waited till after the meeting and then everyone went outside, turned on all the cars with bright high beam head lights and searched the entire church grounds and parking lots. However, unfortunately no glasses were found. I had to drive home without them, not seeing too great and then proceed to tell my mother I had lost them. I knew she was going to go beserk. My mom laid into me, yelling and screaming. I just kept calm and said that Tom would go look again the next day during daylight. Mom said, well I have no money to replace them, what are you going to do? I just told my mom that God would take care of it. My mom told me to go get my pj’s on and come back down she wasn’t finished with me yet. I went up stairs and got ready for bed and just kept saying God will take care of it, God will take care of it. After a few moments my mom came upstairs. she first apologized for yelling at me, and then she said that no matter what it would all work out and that she knew to that God would take care of it. The next day when I got home from school Tom called me at 3pm. He said that he with the help of someone else had search and search and searched the church grounds without any luck at all of finding the glasses. Tom said that he finally just got so frustrated that he stomped his foot on the parking lot ground and the glasses slide across the ground. Since then I have always known that just having faith in the Divine to handle things for the best, whatever that may be is what I needed to do. And time and time again, things although they are not what I had planned or hoped for, have always worked out at some point for my betterment and blessing.

    Sorry that was so long, thanks for listening. And thanks again Adam for your words and music.

    Love ya.

    • I like your emphasis on how each person has his or her own spiritual journey to make. It’s a strange thing, but many religious institutions insist that everyone has to make more or less the same journey: everyone has to have the same kind of come-to-Jesus moment, or accept the same catechism, or whatever. To acknowledge a unique spiritual journey for each person is to recognize the authority of each person — and that’s not something institutions are usually very good at. Bless you for sticking up for your own journey, and thanks for sharing your story.

  4. I’ve listened to you for the third time today. I know in my heart that God put me in touch with you! I too have experienced Gods presence and long for the next encounter each time. As I told you yesterday, I had an experience when I had a brain tumor removed. I shared it with my pastor and almost everybody I knew. Yes there were skeptics, however my pastor asked me if I would share with our congregation in a sermon one Sunday. I agreed and, as you say, there were skeptics, but many people were envious. I truly know that He is with me every minute no matter where I am or what I am doing! Thank you for this Merry Mystic video!

    • Hi Sharon,

      And Amen, sister! But I’ll be interested to hear your response to the third introductory video, where I speak in *praise* of skepticism. The trick, for me, is to find a balance: to recognize and celebrate the mystery and magic of God, while at the same time being sensible of the fact that we humans are very much prone to fooling ourselves. Maybe that’s one way to understand Jesus’ instruction to his disciples — to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

  5. Thank you, Adam! I was grasped by your music and words – which basically told my story of how God turned me around, spoke so I heard, and led me through a wonderful journey. Erased my fears. I felt God’s guidance, Jesus presence and the Holy Spirit editing constantly. I tell of my experiences in church but I feel it is more affective to tell it to small groups or individuals so I can assess how they’re receiving it as well as allow questions.
    My light shines and is seen in an aura or warmth that I emit – I’ve been told. Through the joy, hope, love and songs I stay in the Spirit.