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.
There is a bird watching me through the living room window. Or is it watching the television? Its head turns sharply toward me again, then back to the television. For all I know it’s following an outside reflection, but its tiny-eyed glances are rather precise between this large-headed Homo sapiens and the flashing picture machine set opposite the couch.
My wife enters the room and confirms this is the same bird that’s been coming and going every few days, sometimes every day, motioning through the same routine. And I’m curious.