As I write this, I am experiencing one of life’s transitions: I am flying over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, suspended in the gap between continents, between projects, between memory and anticipation. Today, I left behind my friends in the States; tomorrow, I will once again be with my family in Britain. But the gap is important, and it brings to mind three important words for this season: Transfiguration, transition, and transformation.
The transfigured Jesus stands in the gap between our human, time-bound reality and God’s eternal presence holding all things in being. He gives us a glimpse of the mystery and then gently leads us down the mountainside into the precarious transition from the NOW to the NOT YET.
But it is in this gap between the mountaintop of vision and the valley of hard work that Jesus comes alongside us in companionship. It is in the gap between the unknown possibility that still lies beyond us and the familiar we once cherished that we are stretched. It is in the season between the ripening and the letting go that the real harvest happens.
What happened to Jesus and his disciples on the mountain of transfiguration happens to us during life’s transitions, even if in less dramatic ways. Gradually, though often not without pain, each of us grows into the transformation to which we are being called.
So let us trust this season of transition between the leisure pursuits of summer and the discipline of fall’s new beginnings at school or in the workplace. We may discover that God is especially close to us in the gap.