Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Often have I wondered with much curiosity as to our
coming into this world and what will follow our departure.
Petrarch, poet and scholar; he was born at
dawn, on la Via del Giardino, Arezzo, 1304
Haven’t we all!
Some think they have it all locked down, whether it’s golden streets or the bosom of Abraham (who says you have to be a Christian to get to Heaven?!) or golden harps on cloudy cushions. I may have entertained such glitzy ideas of Heaven when little, though I have to say that I remember very little being said in Presbyterian Sunday School about Heaven. But from my teens on I seem to have understood that “Heaven” was a metaphor for being gathered into the arms of Love, being safe, free from any lasting burden of sorrow and suffering.
Just when I came to understand that that state was a creation of the Imagination, that there were many such imaginings, and that they were a sublime method for coping in this Earthly Life, creating hope and trust and the courage to grasp hold of Life and live it as freely as possible, I don’t know. It wasn’t by study, of that I’m sure. It came by a subtle seeping into my Being of some mysterious working of the Universe. I now believe that it came at my conscious and unconscious bidding ….. the bidding of a young man needing an anchor that would “hold in the storms of life”. Somehow I knew I was going to have a struggle!
If there is a Heaven, it is, now to my mind, frosting on the cake. I hold in my heart, mind, body and spirit its promises – the same promises I heard told of in my childhood: unconditional love, joy, peace, delight, a welcome into the eternal community of Life.
These are the tools I need to live this earthly Life, tools that banish discouragement and fear. When I die, I will need them no more. Yet, I stay open to the Mystery of what yet may be revealed.
p.s. We lift a glass to Neil Armstrong, on the 42nd anniversary of his being the first human being to set foot on the Moon.