As I’m reading my devotionals, I hear a low rumble, barely perceptible but perceptible enough. “Was that thunder?” “Was that a truck?” “Was that a jet?” Then silence.
As I continue reading my devotionals, I hear a louder version of a low rumble. But it is still difficult to make out. “It can’t be thunder,” I think to myself, “because Kaiser is calm.”
By the time I make it to my daily Bible readings, rain begins to pound against the metal of my air conditioner in my window. Suddenly there is a bright flash — a flash so bright and sharp that, even though my window is behind me as I sit in my chair reading, I see the flash in front of me in the room. Seconds pass in silence — I always count the seconds after lightning — then a loud rumbling thunder that rolls on for at least thirty seconds if not longer.
Then I head the sound of a trumpet blast. It is a low, muffled sound, but it catches my attention because it is different and does not belong. Long, low, deep, trumpet sound. I was not sure what I was hearing. Was it some kind of alarm?
I went back to my reading because whatever was going on, I was powerless to stop it and it is my time to read the Bible. The trumpet sound begins again — a long, loud, low, deep blast.
Okay, that one kind of freaked me out a little. Then, minutes later, I heard another. I concluded that it was a barge on the river. Some more undramatic peals of thunder. I look to Kaiser, who would normally be flipping out a half-hour before the storm hits — he is calmly snoring on the love seat.
A couple more trumpet blasts and its over. I finish with my readings and think over the events of the morning. Four “trumpet blasts” — so I decided to check it out in my favorite book. I started with the third trumpet:
And the third angel blew a trumpet: A large, burning star that looked like a lantern fell from the sky. It fell on a third of the rivers and natural water sources. The star had a name. It was called Wormwood. A third of the waters turned to wormwood and a lot of people died from drinking water because it had become so bitter.
This made me think of the poisoned water in West Virginia, which is still making people sick, and how the same practices that were used there are causing problems elsewhere. It is just becoming so normal that we no longer report it as news.
The fourth angel blew a trumpet: A third of the sun, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars were struck with darkness, so that a third of them would be dark. A third of the light of day was kept from shining, as well as a third of the light of night.
I looked up and saw a solitary vulture flying high in the sky. I heard it saying loudly, “How horrible, horrible, horrible! It’s going to get bad for those who live on the earth because three trumpet blasts are still to come, and they are about to be blown by the three angels!”
Unfortunately, this is what happens when you have someone who has been studying Revelation for years even before going to Seminary, and who has been studying the New Testament as a scholar for the last twenty years, who harbors an apocalyptic worldview.
I’m sure it’s all coincidence and none of it has anything to do with anything other than to meet in my mind and remind me of various theological and biblical streams. But one of the things it reminds me of is that even though it may all be a coincidence and an overactive imagination this morning, a time is coming when it will not be and will be more than my overactive imagination. If I may borrow from a C.S. Lewis line about his fictional Christ-figure in Narnia: Jesus is on the move!