“Sensory deprivation, or perceptual isolation, is the deliberate reduction or removal of stimuli from one or more senses. Simple devices such as blindfolds or hoods and earmuffs can cut off sight and hearing, while more complex devices can also cut off the sense of smell, touch, taste, thermoception (heat -sense), and the ‘feeling’ of gravity. It has been used in various alternative medicines and in psychological experiments (e.g. with an isolation tank.”) ~Wikipedia
No, I don’t usually trust what Wikipedia says, but this is spot on as a definition.
Sounds great, right? Maybe not, since this takes that away. So, “unsounds” great? I think about it, and yeah, sometimes I could go for a lack of everything assaulting my senses, but man, my brain has no mute button, and I have a tendency to peel layers of my psyche back for a peek at why. I think we can all see the unraveling of ourselves in others these days. If you’ve ever seen “Altered States” you can see the potential issues of spending too much time with just you, (not to the extremes in that flick, but still…) Imagine not being able to reach out to someone for feedback or encouragement, or love.
That set me to thinking about the silence of the grave. Some people think that’s the end of thought. The body stops, everything goes away, as if the story of our lives evaporates. I bet we actually take more memories with us we forgot while we were here. The cognitive self, freed from the trappings of a short-circuiting, afflicted housing that keeps us distracted- Dude, that’s a lot of history to set free, swirling about in the afterlife, and what if the hellishness of Hell isn’t all the hell fires and the lake. What if much of Hell is just being stuck with no one but ourselves. I don’t know about you, but I have things I’m not interested in hashing out alone during the ever-ever. The idea of physically feeling nothing, hearing and seeing nothing, but still be constantly present in mind and thought. I wanna give that a hard pass. AND, knowing that in the midst of that, God never again hears my voice, never thinks of me, forgets me. NAW!
“Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the departed rise up to praise you? Is your steadfast love declared in the grave, or your faithfulness in Abaddon? Are your wonders known in the darkness, or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?” Psalm 88:10-12
“…like one set loose among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave, like those whom you remember no more, for they are cut off from your hand.” Psalm 88:5
“…Like those whom you remember no more…”. <——— This buckles my knees. Now, Psalm 88 has a lot more going on with it than just these verses, but they are relatable. So before I race toward that fun happening, I want to use my voice to ask Him for prayers, to speak truth, encourage others, thank Him for the sky, praise His name! Praise! Praise actually should be first on my tongue, maybe the only thing, if I had to choose only one way to share the joy of knowing my heart has been claimed. No matter the circumstances of life, I still have a multitude of things for which to praise God. There are some favorite songs for each of us in worship. Ain’t No Grave is one of them. This is a song of celebration and freedom, it calls the names of spirits of the enemy, Shame and Fear- these are things we are not meant to wear, hear, share, or sow. That PROMISE- of passing through the grave, rising up to see Jesus, communing (and maybe finally better understanding) the Holy Spirit, worshiping in the throne room of the Father (exciting and scary all at once)- that promise has been proven through the first of us, Jesus. According to His work, His promise, His blood, we will not stay in the grave alone with ourselves. He didn’t. Now that is some trail blazing! “And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and raise you from your graves, O my people.” Ezekiel 37:13 ESV The weirdest Easter has come and gone, but the Risen King has not disappeared. Since the day we celebrated the resurrection of Christ, when I look at the world, the voices of people seem like a last hurrah, a final shout, some in anger, fear, some in joy. We are trying to be heard before the silence of the grave overtakes us. But, if we will take a big breath, close our eyes, whisper the prayer, invite the King near- we can know The Way through the blackened void. We don’t have to be left wrestling in the dark with all the shameful, painful moments our lives held. We will not be held down by our sin, thanks to the precious heart of God. “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Romans 12:12 ESV Leslie Prince