She took a long, slow drag off one of her favorite cigarettes as he caressed her hand, both of them lost forever in the moment now fading into their past. They’d waited for this day as if it had been 100 years. Made the arrangements. Devised excuses for skipping out on work. They’d picked a location far from their hometown, where nobody would recognize them in the band of darkness that some would say straddles a thin line, but to them it would be plenty wide to satisfy their curiosity. She had wondered whether she’d feel bliss—or regret—after the rendezvous. And now she knew. It was over. She was already thinking about the next one. It was, as they say, nothing short of spectacular.
Oceans. Mountains. Trees. Birds. Creatures that move on the ground and in the sea. Newborn babies. The sun rises and the sun sets. The evidence is all around.
What comes to mind when you hear the word Heaven? Does it evoke thoughts of an eternal worship-service-in-the-sky, which frankly sounds like eons of boredom if compared to the lot of church services offered us today.
Or does it paint images of all your dreams coming true? Everything you have held near and dear to your heart, every talent you have (or wish you had) and all of your desires coming to fruition, perfected. All of the things and people you have loved and lost being returned to you. Restored to you?
And does it even matter for us, today, here on this earth?
I had the privilege to speak on this topic this past Sunday at Beyond the Veil Fellowship Church in Evansville, Indiana. If you can’t listen using the player window below, you can also click here to listen. (Part two, 7 Daily Affirmations for Finishing Well, is also available by clicking here.)
Daisy used to climb the high back chair in my office to lay across the top, that is, until the veterinarian declawed her. And that brings up another interesting point. Daisy was neutered that same day, which is why Daisy, you see, isn’t a she. She’s a he. And he’s a cat.
Chester. Tucker. Tyrone. Or stick with Daisy. These are a few names, among others, our family can’t decide on since my oldest son’s girlfriend enlightened us of Daisy’s genital make-up, though I’d known for a while something looked odd. And I apologize. That might sound sexist.
But as best as I can tell, Daisy doesn’t care about sexism.
I was sipping coffee outside when out of the corner of my eye I noticed a leaf stuck between the deck slats, waving with the morning breeze. It was colored an extraordinarily rich green, a contrast from the spectrum of autumn browns, yellows, and oranges. A closer look revealed a True Katydid, a.k.a., a green leaf bug.
I figured it was dead. Temperatures had dropped into the 40’s that night. With my slippered feet I tapped it onto its side. It’s legs pedaled slowly into empty air.
I picked it up. It’s tiny eyes stared at me with helpless abandon.
Edging outward on a sturdy limb I lost my balance right away but caught myself. I looked down at the ground some 15 feet below, my own limbs quivering after the espresso shot of adrenaline. What am I doing up here, I thought.
As a child I would climb trees over 50 feet tall, my 65-pound body clinging to the spindliest top branch on the windiest of days short of a thunderstorm, though my favorite time of day to climb was at dusk.