he was so frightened he did not know what to say.
So here I am, camping out on the Mark version of Jesus’ transfiguration and I get to the last bit–the parenthetical line notes of the story.
So small, so interesting. How often do we see what happens when people are frightened by dudes talking? No fanfare, really, by description, but Peter’s reaction is well worth contemplating.
When was the last time you were awed into making a goofy suggestion? When was the last time you were struck dumb by power, majesty, splendor, or heck, just light?
Something happens in the event of the transfiguration that cannot simply be replicated through description. A man who was generally unremarkable in appearance is suddenly revealed to be who he has always really been–God Incarnate.
What awes you? For me I think of two things–the hurricanes I have experienced and the births of my children. Nothing like natural childbirth to make a body feel totally out of control and powerless. But there is more than that–there is the face. A child you have waited for is there, real before you. New life miraculous.
then face to face.
One day each of us will see him the way Peter, James, and John did that day. Face to face with the Absolute: who wouldn’t be afraid?
Only his own wee ones, his dearest loves.