The Former (Revisited)

What do we usually mean when we speak about the “former”? Most often this refers to something which pertains to the past. For example we could say, “I used to live in that house in former times.” Or, “This person was a former coworker of mine.”

Some things that are former, we do not wish to bring to remembrance. Others we recall with great fondness, reliving it in our minds and hearts.

One of my favorite Scripture promises using the word “former” is this: “For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” (Isaiah 65:17,18)

This echos again at the end of the New Testament, “ And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

What was former can stretch across time, giving us a glimpse of the latter – that which is to be at the culmination of all things! What a view – panoramic, spectacular to say the least!

A former also implies forms. Forms are everything created, from ideas to solid objects. Forms change. Forms pass out of existence or visibility, or undergo a metamorphosis into another form.

May I suggest then that we could also refer to the Creator as “The Former”, not as something past, but as One ever present, as the Source which forms or originates all that is, often through His forms and creations – Human Beings?

This is THE Former which we do want to keep in mind and never forget, the One in Whom we live, move, and have our being – in Whose holy image and likeness we were created! This Infinite Sentience, characterized by unconditional Love…All that is formed originates within The Former.

Within this Former – omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent – is what we perceive as past, present, and future, all rolled into one. Amazing when you think about it. Essentially unfathomable with our finite mind and senses. Dizzying in fact to ponder it!

So, we might ask, who is better in-formed – the one who clings to the past, or one who see what has been shaped by past and in communication with present Presence?

The creative path is always in formation. Art is but a tool that can teach us that when we think we’re “informed”, the truth may be that we’re actually in formation.

Being in formation through connection to The Former is our journey toward manifested wholeness – unlimited, infinite.

Here’s some food, some manna for thought that feeds the soul. It’s what’s in store from the Former to the formed-yet-in-formation sons of God, we “works in progress”: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” (Revelation 21:1,2)

Thought food worth savoring! The finished beauty here is in the Eye of the Beholder, The Former Who sees us complete, whole, perfect in His Son! This is how the artist sees the work even before s/he begins it. The vision becomes the view becoming the completed work. Thanks be to God, The Former, the Alpha, the Omega!

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