Yes, I know what Rapture means to Bible thumpers…there is not a bone in my body that can relate to the idea of leaving the earth with a bunch of people who think they are being ‘saved’ because they are ‘chosen’. I prefer to be one of the left-behinds.
I read an interesting and inspirational view of what rapture means in one of my little meditation books this morning, one I can relate to. “The work that nourishes us (is) a form of rapture,” it says. It is not our daily state, but “we can achieve (it) when we forget ourselves, when we are totally immersed in the work that transforms us – whether it’s clearing a field, playing a cello, collecting stamps, factoring an equation, or kneading dough.”
I can name many moments when I felt this rapture in my life. Often it has been when nature grabbed me out of my thoughts into the moment. A swooping owl in the woods, a spactacular sunset, the smell of newly harvested corn, the kackle of blackbirds…these are examples that I can clearly remember. Another experience of rapture is when I am witness to love. One scene that always catches me up (definition of rapture) is to see a father or grandfather nurturing a child or a child totally lost in joyous dance or in wonder over some little creature.
Another rapture experience is in acts of service when I totally forget myself and notice only the person I am serving. One such situation was when I met with inmates at the Morrison County jail so that they could tape record reading books to their children. Then they would make their child a card and wrap the book and tape to mail to the child for Christmas. They would often talk to me about their children and how much they missed them. One young man wept as he talked. This is the encounter I most remember, for this young man was destined for prison and a long separation. I will never forget the moment, so caught up was I in his sadness.
My reading closed with this statement: “(Self) forgetfulness is basic to (rapture). The strength of the spirit does the rest.”
(Reading is from The Promise of a New Day)