As the sun overcame the dawn resistance of the mountainous horizon, I was ushered by an unseen but gently firm hand towards a temple. The building looked almost imposing but I was unable to compare it with any others as no others were in sight - they were there, to be sure, but not in sight – as if comparing were not permitted.
I climbed the broad shallow steps towards the doors and caught sight of the windows high up and on either side of the impressive entrance way. They were beautifully coloured and spotlessly clean. On closer inspection I saw that some were cracked and one even had a hole in it. The doors were strong and well-maintained. The varnished sheen reflected the early morning rays and the handles shone as if recently polished. I pushed on the handles and, at first, nothing happened; then suddenly, there was a crack as under-used hinges were released from the grip of corrosion. This temple, while beautiful on the outside, albeit with the odd bit of damage, evidently saw very little traffic inside.
As the open doors let in the early morning light, I saw that there were lamps already lit, although many, particularly further in, had not been asked to perform their duty for some time, if ever. The lamps were of gold and their transparent panels were spotless and seemed to aid the light in its quest to illuminate all around it. Where the lamps remained unlit, there were snuffed out candles on the floor beneath - the sort one could buy at any store outside - as if the one visiting here had preferred to use their own purchased candles because they did not have the energy or will to light the much more effective, already existing, purpose-built lamps.
Although the dawn light was weak and the lamps did their best, darkness was in no way in control. There was light but its source was unseen. In fact, source is the wrong word as it would seem to indicate that the light was coming from somewhere. In this case, that was not so - it was just there.
The interior was beautifully clean. Not a smear of dirt anywhere. There was no accumulated grime, no piles of abandoned clutter. The rich wall-hangings breathed-out the sumptuousness of a royal palace, a home of kings. The banners that hung suspended from rich wooden beams declared hope and victory, strength and resolve. This temple exuded life in every one of its positive and fruitful dimensions. This place was of the present and the future. The past seemed to have no place here.
In fact, it would seem that this temple had no history at all except that it was under-used. This lack of expressed living was evidenced by, here and there, small piles of dust which were mysteriously not dirty in any way. The little piles indicated that an attempt at collecting the dust had been undertaken but the visitor had failed to sweep them up. In fact, these little lines and piles of shepherded dust were quite irritating. The dust was just inside the door about halfway to the centre of the room. There was no evidence of anyone going any further. It seemed such a waste as the further reaches of the interior beckoned with an offer of an other-wordly adventure. The dust would not cause the destruction of the temple. It was not even able to diminish the quality, presence or purpose of the place, but was in some way evidence of an unwillingness to go further.
The farthest corners of the interior were not dark, despite the lack of lamplight, just seemingly unexplored. It was not a darkness that hung there - just an air of not knowing. They had the look of areas that no one had ever visited. No adventure had ever been undertaken there. There was no sense of foreboding, no evidence of threat - only an inaudible voice calling for the visitor to go in further.
The room was empty to the natural eye and silent to the created ear, and yet somehow full and abounding in activity. The air was sweet, pleasantly so, excluding the possibility of anything profane, anything threatening. No death or decay could exist here. The atmosphere was pure but somehow faintly echoed a time when it was not so. There was no tangible evidence for the change, just an inner knowing that something extraordinary had taken place here.
The interior was full of knowing, not mere knowledge, but a knowing that comes only by experience. I could not think negatively in that place. Even the dangers and conflicts I would face outside could not change the atmosphere of peace in there.
Then I saw it - I had all but missed it. As I turned to go, a table set for four appeared in the corner of my eye. Three of the chairs were large, golden and encrusted with all manner of jewels. The fourth was a little smaller and it was made of silver with eight perfectly crafted jewels worked into the frame. The table was of glass, but not the fault-filled product of this world, but a glass that was as clear as crystal.
On the table were only one plate and one goblet from which to partake. The table and chairs, I am almost convinced, were urging me to come, sit and partake. I felt as if I had the right. I was convinced that I should. I even knew within myself that should I take that fourth seat, the Three Hosts would appear. But I did not.
The world outside raised its voice and demanded my attention. It was as if unseen hands on unimaginably long arms reached over the threshold to pull me away. I surrendered weakly and went.
As I went down the steps on the outside, it was as if the entire building sighed. I was sure I could hear voices within, not angry, not sad; in fact, I am not sure what emotion was being expressed - I just felt so loved, so wanted, so desired - yet, for today at least, so out of reach.
In order to really understand the allegory above it would be helpful to read the following Scriptures and the definitions of the following symbolic numbers and elements.
I Corinthians 3:16; II Corinthians 10:12 Revelation 3:20; John 14:23.
Gold = Holiness, purity.
Silver = Redemption, redeemed.
The number 8 = Resurrection, new beginnings.