Of Heaven

The children were running and playing. Some were having a grand time with their inline skates, unicycles and bicycles. It was the perfect location to let the wind rush through their hair. Their faces and their giggles made me think of what heaven must be like.

As they rode by me, they all made eye contact and spoke to me. They carried themselves with respect and a sense of security and wholeness.

Younger children were playing ball, with the male adults in attendance and giving guidance. I heard a comment that one of them was starting kindergarten today.

I sat there in the sun, surrounded by the lake, children, mothers and fathers. The men mostly were dressed in khaki pants and button-down shirts, fleece vests. The women wore their hair in buns and were clothed in long, simple dresses and skirts.

As the children played and the men watched over them, the women cleaned up from the meal. Soon I began to hear sweet and clear voices that must have been voices of angels singing. Some of the songs I recognized; some I didn’t. I sat there, mesmerized, wanting to be a part of them, and yet not wanting to intrude in such an intimate fellowship of an uncommon family. It was an almost palpable sense of community and belonging.

The Bible was in my lap. I was reading Genesis at that moment. Adam was formed. A garden in Eden was planted and there Adam was placed, with unrestricted freedom and control, except for that one thing from which Adam should not partake. A woman was created just for this Adam, as his companion and as another pleasure in life. All was perfect; there was not one need that was unmet. There was also unbroken and unrestricted fellowship with God Himself.

The goading and deception began, as did the outright lies. The shifting of blame and responsibility and hiding and guilt and fear took over; the garden of Eden became a guarded place by cherubim and flaming sword.

Adam and his Eve were now restricted from access to what sounded as though it was heaven on earth.

While surrounded by community, fellowship, belonging and voices of angels, I read ancient truths of life void of those very things.

Oh that we could all witness, and experience, more of the sights and sounds of heaven.

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The Unfinished Book

It was an afternoon in the sun, reading a book I’ve struggled for two weeks to finish. I sat in my car, watching and listening to the choppy waters of the lake.

The cell phone rings and I answer to the voice of an elderly gentleman. We typically touch base every Christmas, but as yet we had not spoken this year. He brought news of his physical decline and perhaps the necessity of assistance with daily living is now of a timely decision. His anxiety and depression were ever so evident.

It was time to drive home, as the sun had begun its descent and the warmth had begun to diminish. Instead I traveled in a different direction and treated myself to grits, eggs, bacon and coffee.

I listened to the chatter about me and chuckled at the man sitting in the booth just behind me. He was a regular there and knew all the employees. One by one, they all came to sit with him for a spell. I remember being that person once upon a time, where everybody knew my name. As I headed for my car, another gentleman escorted me out and made sure I got to my car safely. His wife was waiting for him in the booth by the window, so I had to give him back.

For a few months now I have curtailed my excursions, saving money and energy for long term goals and imminent disasters. Sitting today among the humble masses made me realize how much I’ve missed these bits of a wider reality, otherwise known as life beyond the here and now.

Yea though I love my home and enjoy all that it entails, I also glean new blessings from being out among the humble masses.

The book remains, yet still, unfinished.

Voices of Yesterday

In the pit we are thrown as a child and its shame follows us wherever we go. We can rise to be the most powerful person in the land and everyone must obey when we say, “You come” or “You go”.

But it only takes one word or one sight to bring us to our knees or flat on our backs. Perhaps we have crossed paths with folks from our dark past. Then in the pit we have returned; its memory in our psyche and in our heart has burned.

Be free young man, young man or whomever you may be. Let not today hold you captive to another time and place. You are much more than the angry and twisted voices of yesterday.