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Suns & Shields

By Rachelle Hamlin

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By: Rachelle Hamlin

Fort Fairfield Journal, March 18, 2015

Two weeks ago, to my great interest, the powers that be in Heaven added a new word to the American Vocabulary. I am aware that this is a most unusual statement to make. Perhaps it seems like information of this kind has to be some sort of a joke, a fiction or the thoughts of a religious psycho. Honestly, it is not any of these. So I owe it to you to explain, and explain in a way that makes it perfectly sensible.

The first assumption is the concept that there is a Divine Being that most of us identify by the word God. Assuming that, then the second concept is that God can speak; with a corollary that God speaks to people. This has long been established both by the Torah, which forms the beginning of the Christian Bible in the Old Testament writings and by all the rest of the Bible which documents very precisely some of the incidents when God did exactly that. Even an agnostic historian will admit that even since the Bible, further records show a vast number of people believe that God exists and that He has communicated with them.

So on that base I say, God exists and He speaks. Well, if He speaks to humans, He speaks to them in languages, to the Armenian in his language and to Americans in theirs. We are Americans, so He speaks to us in English. He does speak to us via visual phenomena, by flashes of intuition and by other nonverbal ways, but I am not trying to prove that today. This is a story about a new word for the American Dictionary.

That also should not be so surprising because words go into use in the American language faster than the dictionaries can be printed! What is different here is that instead of it coming from punk rock, a new comedian, a clever writer or an academic, this word came directly from that mysterious divine being we name God.

Actually that is why I am writing about it at all. I think that its a very significant word and has many ramifications for our world to come as we actually begin to understand it and appropriate its meaning for ourselves. The word is onlyness.

Before I tell you how the word arrived here, I need to tell about what the Bible calls prophecy, something not always understood even by church people. The general use of the word favors a prediction; saying something before it happens. This can be spoken or written and is usually attributed to divine inspiration. Aspects of that fit this one, but not really. This prophecy is best described as a word spoken out loud by someone in a congregation of believers who are all praying silently in God's perceived presence.

When this happens it is more like the person is channeling God's thoughts directly. The one who prophecies would never attribute those words to themselves. They are most aware that a certain flow of grace is happening. God is speaking words to them that they know are for the congregation to hear and to judge. They may be used to hearing his words when alone, but when it comes in those particular settings, it is obvious that God wants to speak to the people, and so they speak the words out loud. This doesn't happen in all churches, but it happened in a church I was in two weeks ago. In that situation about four or five people prophesied like that and then the meeting took another direction.

The particular prophecy that I am writing about was the second one given. This is what I heard; I say to you, my people, that in times past you have experienced loneliness. From this day forward I call you to experience onlyness. I want you to focus only on me so that I am the only thing on your mind and in your heart.

When I heard about people experiencing loneliness, I knew immediately that it would be very unusual that anyone in that audience had not experienced loneliness. I could almost feel everyone remembering their times of feeling lonely... and to think! God himself was aware of those times in our lives! I remembered my own times of loneliness and what awful experiences they were. Then I heard God ask us to experience onlyness! And He explained exactly what he meant by that.

Turned out that the preacher that morning made reference to that prophecy in his sermon, and when he did, someone in the congregation called out, Yes! Obviously I was not the only one there that was impacted by this interesting idea. Right away I could see that anyone who suffered from any degree of loneliness, would never have to endure another moment of it if they practiced onlyness the way God wanted them to. The habit of keeping God on your mind and moreover, in your heart where your wealth of feelings is generated would make you always aware that you were NOT alone. God was with you, offering you comfort, fellowship and companionship. When there was no one else who cared about you, and even you were forsaking yourself, you would know the love and grace of God once again.

Onlyness, n., the ecstatic experience of those whose mind and hearts remain with God in all circumstances.



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