…and I know it has been for me—because it went against most everything that I was raised to believe. However up until this message, I do not believe there is anything you have taught about this subject that has been contrary to Scripture. But now, dearest Clare, I ask you go discernment about this bowing to images. To me this is the biggest difference between Protestant and Catholic churches—the absence of graven images.
I’ve been fighting my way out of the same ‘pillbox’ for years, Dear – so I get where you are coming from. Come. Let’s think about this together.
What do you do when you are introduced to a King or Queen in England? Or another other country that still has Kings and Queens? You bow. Why? You are showing respect. Are you worshipping them?? I hope not:0) People bowed/curtsied before all sorts of people who had higher social positions, higher responsibilities and ‘power’ – for CENTURIES. Some still do!
We get so caught up in our American ways – and the present – we forget that OTHER countries, now, in this world today – still retain some of these customs that we consider archaic. Including bowing to people to show higher rank and respect. It’s not a mystery at all, really.
So – if someone were to ‘bow’ before the physical representation of a person now in Heaven – is that wrong? Can we not still show love, affection and respect for those who are now alive – in Heaven?
I think the problem is – when someone dies…we think they are dead. But they aren’t – they just aren’t HERE. They are VERY much alive, whichever way they went after their bodies died.
Same thing for ‘idols’. What do you think the people’s HEARTS are telling them when they stand before a statue of a saint? The ones that you are assuming are ‘worshipping’ these statues?
Really – sit a moment and really think about that.
I have a picture of my grandmother on my dresser. I loved her so much! She came to live with my family when I was only 5, and actually shared my bedroom with me until I left for college. She was my close friend. My confidante when my parents made life hard… The one who was ALWAYS available to cuddle me, hold me, to tell me she cared and loved me…
We would go visit one of her other daughters every week, and we’d share a bed together in their spare room. The trees outside that room (it was in the country) were TALL and when the wind blew, the branches would brush against them – and frighten me. SHE would be the one to tell me not to be afraid – it was only the wind. And pray for me…
She went Home at the age of 95 over 37 years ago – but I still have that precious picture. And I OFTEN stand there before it. Remembering how much I loved her, how much she loved me. And I KNOW, because the Cloud of Witnesses IS ALIVE – she often prays for me. I don’t flinch at asking her to pray for my children, or to greet someone from our vast family for me with a hug….those I dearly miss.
Would you tell me I’m worshipping her? I would argue against that… She was far from perfect – but she was saved. So, I would say that my attitude is: I trust that, because she is Home and a tiny part of the Kingdom of God, she is now able to move with Holy Spirit’s power in a wholly different way. Now, because she is perfected, she has the ability to be called on by Him to pray for her beloved, extended family still HERE. Just like she did here on Earth. And at times even be allowed to hear me, or greet me in the spirit…
If my grandmother, in her small frailty in the Kingdom, could do that – how much more one of the truly Holy ones or even Mary herself?? Who we are here, the extent of our devotion and holiness (being separated from the world and unto God) HERE – the more ability to serve God we are given there… David sings of that in the Psalms. And interceding for others is one of the primary ways of serving and partnering with Jesus – isn’t it?
In the times when I sit (in the spirit, in Heaven) with Papa God – and the Cloud is surrounding us – I have seen her on the edges of the Sea. The same tiny, beloved soul that so comforted my childhood. She is usually together with many of HER children. They are all part of ‘my’ Cloud. Do you think that the souls God brought Home, that lived so purely and wholly for Him on this Earth – would not partner with Him in the same way? For us? And what is wrong with reflecting on that Love coming down from Heaven to us, those prayers covering our lives?
We need to THINK about all of what is happening. Not ‘make’ decisions about appearances. That’s where we always get into trouble – clinging to our judgments and opinions instead of asking Holy Spirit to reveal more to us about what is really happening:0) Not trying to offend, you, Dear – I know EXACTLY the battle you are fighting!