It was probably more unusual
because it really happened.
The laws of metaphysics and all the fiction this modern era produces
could not have begun to interpret the utter reality
of my vision
seen from the other side.

I had lived, suffered, and so-called died
and now, out of time
—who knew how long—
caught up in the endless adoration
of the only one I could ever love and serve
time invaded eternity and riveted me.

My crown and jewels were nothing to me
yet everything, because He had bestowed them
and who was I, but a Son of Thunder
enthralled with the arms of grace.

But I digress…
The final moment had come,
the moment all creation had stretched forth to embrace
since Eve’s deception.
For some reason my attention was distracted
almost as though He was saying,
“Go, you still have something to do, I know your heart is Mine.”

Somehow, I was distracted.
I don’t know which shocked more
to see myself standing there, weeping in eternity
at the inability of anyone to break the seals,
or that the weeping me
did not recognize me in my white robe and crown of gold.
Timeless adoration had put it out of my mind
but now I remembered
another life
another time
bound by flesh and blood on an island
called Patmos.

Even now, whys are inexplicable
to the privilege
of being caught up in flesh and blood.
On Patmos I did not dream
I experienced
the future.
I remembered now,
gazing at myself weeping,
still only a man with limited insight
I had wept
as the Mighty One had revealed a book
sealed
and as the call went out
“Who is worthy?”
I had become dismayed.

How could it be
that here in the true land of Promise
no one could be found worthy:
not on earth, not under the earth I could understand,
but here, before the One on the throne
and these twenty-four Elders
not one Worthy?
And I wept.

Here, in the now, I stepped forward to myself
moved by my limited understanding of then.
“Stop weeping; behold the Lion that is
from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David,
has overcome so as to open the book
and its seven seals.”

I remember, suddenly my eyes had been opened
and as I gained control of myself
I had looked at the Elder speaking to me.
I looked at him and all the others
but it was the Lamb I recognized
and I was consumed with love for Him.
How could I have forgotten?

I turned back from myself
and bending to pick up my harp and bowl
I took one more glance
at my stunned, enraptured, flesh and blood self.
“Its alright John,” I whispered,
“someday you will understand.”

I turned and began to sing
a new song.

(1994)