“There are people who can actually see, smell and physically taste music. This is an example of a phenomenon known as synesthesia. Synesthetes report seeing symphonies in spectacular colors, smelling Beethoven, and tasting Chopin.” (source: www.mentalfloss.com)
This astounding bit of information sets me wondering–what does rap music tastes like?
But, wow! As a preacher I can really see potential here. For instance, the other morning I was speaking to a group of teens at a youth camp. They had spent most of the preceding night, camping out in the forest.
For many of them, sleep had only been a tiny part of the program. (See photo at bottom of page)
So, in the meeting that morning I was close to setting my personal record for putting people to sleep. At the moment my record is five, if I remember correctly, and two of them were preachers.
Normally, preachers should count double, I think, but one of these two slept nearly every service so it was no real show of talent to send him to la la land.
But, back to this idea of seeing and smelling stuff that others can’t. Imagine what an advantage it would be to preachers if they could make people see, smell and taste during sermons. (Or even hear!)
For instance, as I spoke to the youngsters, if I could have evoked a sharp odor of smelling salts, they would have jerked to attention, their glassy eyes would have cleared and I could have talked as long as I wanted. Every time they drooped I could have sent them a shot of ammonia smell.
Personally though, I would love to see colors when I listen to a symphony or hear music when I contemplate a star-splattered night sky. It would add a dimension of perception to the joy of the experience.
Our senses here describe part of reality but not all. Dogs hear things we don’t. Bees and butterflies evidently see colors we don’t.
Our wives see wrinkles and sloppiness where we only see normal. People who are color blind like my brother and I often have problems distinguishing between red and green (here’s a color blindness test if you’re interested: http://www.colormatters.com/color-and-vision/what-is-color-blindness )
I’ve wondered if that isn’t what we’ll experience in heaven. Undreamed of colors that sing, sounds that evoke tastes that we’ve never known. We’ll no longer be limited by our five senses. Who knows, maybe God has a million ways to perceive and heaven will release them.
In a sense, that’s what God does when we come to Him in faith and He saves us from destruction. Before that the part of us which responded to God was dead, but God’s Spirit touched us when we reacted in faith to Jesus and we came alive!
Suddenly, those spiritual senses that couldn’t perceive God sprang to life. He was all around us and we’d never know it. Now we see life in a whole new way.
It’s no longer: “You only go around once so grab for all the gusto you can get.” We live with eternity in sight. Many see a toe-tingling sunset and only perceive beauty. Now I can see the beauty but I also glimpse the majesty of the Divine Artist who painted such a scene.
Others see no way out. I often see similar situations but there’s another dimension to my vision.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” (Rom. 5:2-5, NIV)
” Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!” Rom. 15:13, The Message)
By the Lord’s Spirit living in me, I see possibilities that others can’t. Could I say that I’m blessed with “spiritual synesthesia?”
How about you? God will stimulate your spiritual senses if you open your eyes to Him.
photo: Flickr: Creative Commons, Some Rights Reserved Jamie Gulick Hubble 20th Anniverary Photo
There are few things quite so boring as being religious, but there is nothing quite so exciting as being a Christian! ~ Major Ian Thomas