Another Foretaste

The inbox of today’s email contained one of those forwarded messages of the inspirational kind.  There were photographs from around the world of incredible landscapes filled with color and texture.  Knowing that a small photograph can never quite capture a large space, I was filled with the desire to go see the mountains of Tibet, the polar ice caps and the fields of heather.  Something in my spirit sang as I clicked through these photos.

Heather field

Heather field

mountains of Tibet

Polar Ice cap

Polar Ice cap

It is a good thing that this earth of ours offers our senses the wonders of nature.  They bespeak the genius of the Creator.  They offer us subject matter to contemplate the power and wisdom and presence of the Divine.  Yet, when I saw that these places were captioned as heaven, something within my spirit rebelled.

I haven’t been to heaven, so I’m not an expert.  But I do have a few ideas about what I expect to find.  Besides the shalom of God – a peace filled with all that is good and right and life-giving (rather than a peace that is the absence of strife) – I expect to be part of the divine dance begun by the Trinity.  The mystery of the Christian God is that God is both Unity and Trinity – there is something in God that is in relationship.  For me, being in heaven is being held in the embrace of this relationship.  Not only do I get a foretaste of heaven in fabulous landscapes, I also find it in holding my husband’s hand as we walk in our neighborhood, or the stranger holding a door for me, or watching children laugh together.  Where do you find the foretaste of God’s kingdom?


About don

The Rev Don Hill is an Episcopal priest, rail fan and writer. He and his wife the Rev. Dr. Nancy Woodworth-Hill are currently Co-Pastors of St Paul's Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN, in the Diocese of Indianapolis. They also work as parish consultants in Appreciative Inquiry, strategic planning and spirituality development for parishes and vestries.
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