Epiphany: (Oxford Dictionary)
1. The manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi.
2. A moment of sudden and great revelation or realization.
I do not think it coincidental that these are the two definitions of the word epiphany. I see them as related. The Great Revelation of Christ to the magi--that "magical" awareness 2000+ years ago that this infant was God in human form--is not difficult to connect to that same "magical" realization that happens for us in a moment of epiphany. I believe it to be a Holy Spirit-driven awareness, an awareness that is not exclusive but inclusive. That's why I like Jordaen's version of this event--it is not just the magi that are there, but the simple townsfolk, people like me, who are there too, taking in that epiphanic moment.
The greatest epiphany in my life came when I tasted God's love and turned my life over to Jesus. Since then I have had a number of epiphanic moments in my faith walk. In my writing, however, there was no sudden burst of awareness but a subtle drawing to a desire. My epiphanic moment arrived in infancy and has grown over time.
I shared in a previous post that I first started writing when I was nine or ten years old. I was working on a science fiction story, complete with illustrations, when one day I came home to find my mom had accidentally thrown away all my work that I had kept hidden in a manila envelope in the closet. I was devastated and sad and my pen remained silent for the next 35 years (Other than inconsistent journaling). And just like Jesus' birth came at a time in Jewish history when God had been silent, so my moment of inspiration came at a time when God seemed far away and I was in need of some encouragement. Surprisingly, the words flowed with ease and spilled out on to the page.
It was early 2006--the year our firstborn would be graduating from high school, returning to Canada and going on to secondary education while the rest of us remained in Thailand. It was a time of uncertainty for us as parents and yes, fear. But it was also a time when all three of our children were coming into their own, particularly with their giftedness in art: our daughters in fine art, our son in graphic art (Art on left by daughters Mykal and Kendra). It took me back to my childhood and my love for writing and art. The creativity I thought I had lost but now saw in my children, pulled me back into its realm. I was inspired or, as Madeleine L'Engle puts it, "in-spirited." It truly was Spirit-driven in its infancy. And God has kept me there, quietly helping me develop in it ever since. My epiphany i.e. His epiphany, came in the form of the following poem, a poem dedicated to my children:
The artist’s eye
--seeing the unseen
Turning on the
Light bending a brush with 1,000 colours—
to a cataract world.
azure, magenta, chartreuse.
The artist’s ear
--hearing the still, small Voice
A single ink dot meaningless,
fortissimo to a deafened world.
pure yellow, blue, red.
The artist’s touch
--molding the Supra-dimensional
Fire. Bisque. Fire.
A lump spinning on a wheel,
driven emotion takes form through
unique fingerprints—controlled strength.
Dull clod becomes
smooth, lustrous, unblemished.
breathes life into the medium
and takes your breath away.