So in the last few days I’ve asked a few more friends and innocent bystanders what they think of when they hear the word “mystic” – and this may not be a surprise to you – but it has been a complete surprise to me that not one person has said “Oh – you mean like those people who were crazy devoted to God?” Rather – responses go like this: unicorns, drugs, witches, ouija boards, mystic-pizza (a movie) … Not even when at the name of St. John of the Cross or some of the other better known Christian mystics did any bells ring.
In fact – the responses were so weird and so far from what I’m going far – I almost abandoned this project. I mean – what’s the point if all I do is further entrench the belief in the minds of the good people God’s put in my life that I’m flying off the edge as we speak.
Just one problem though.
I can’t drop it.
Frankly – I don’t know all that much on this topic – haven’t read tons of dusty books, or dragged my tail all over the globe in hot pursuit of unicorns. In fact – I picked up a book on mysticism at the library yesterday with a “Are you a Christian mystic” test in it – and didn’t even score as mystical as that town in Connecticut. What’s worse – my sense humor is patently unmystical, I loathe sitting still for very long periods of time, love pranks, and am incurably sarcastic. I’m pretty sure if I ever did meet a “real” Christian mystic – they’d probably invite me to a “BBQ” too!
Then I read John 3 “Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. … The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone born of the spirit.” And then again in St. John of the Cross’s Dark Night of the Soul and read: “If a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.”