|With Jesus as Lord, we share His Love|
Centuries (or Not)
Funerals. We've attended two recently, and were unable to attend three others. So many friends and family members "traveling on" at the same time! It's made heaven and eternity so close, so real.
I'm reminded of a time couple of years ago, when I was sitting outside one morning for my quiet time, reading the One Year Bible's entry for June 6th. That morning, something happened to me that I hope to never forget.
Suddenly, I felt as if all of the events I was reading about and the moment in which I was reading about them were happening at once. The Bible people and events were alive for me in a way they never had been before. I was there, watching Bathsheba approach her aged husband, King David. I was behind the scenes, too, viewing Adonijah's treachery. At the same time I was sitting on my deck in the middle of nowhere rural Indiana feeling and watching the breeze stir the flowers, I was in the crowd listening to Peter speak of God's power. I was astonished by how real it all seemed and began jotting down the sensations that eventually resulted in the poem below.
But really, I shouldn't have been surprised.
Here's the thing about heaven. If we're in Christ, we really are already there. The Apostle Paul writes,
For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).
We're only bound by bodies and linear time here on earth. Heaven is real. Eternity is real. Jesus is real. The people who have traveled on before us are real.
"A lot of people know about Jesus," one of the pastors preaching one of the funerals we attended said, "but believing, that's what makes the difference."
Do you know? Do you believe?
CenturiesStill, all the history of the world
happens at once. -- Jean Valentine
June in every way—blue sky, sun warming the old earth
as beautiful young Abishag warms feeble King David.
Birds and breeze, leaves and leafshadow moving over
the open book and notebook, table where I sit to read.
Adonijah takes Joab and Abiathar into his confidence.
The barn cat, dusty black tabby, curls around my ankles.
Silos across the road. Dried corn, gold rushing, claiming
the grain truck's hold the way Adonijah claims the throne.
A lone orange marigold rises above in its ceramic pot.
"May my lord King David live forever!" exalts Bathsheba.
Redwing blackbirds okalee! from across the pasture.
A ram's horn is sounding at the spring of Gihon.
Grain truck rumbles away, the next pulls forward. A tiny spider
travels below the counsel of Zadok and Nathan the Prophet.
Solomon is anointed. The earth trembles with the noise of joy.
White yarrow, tall and stately, stirs the air above the deadnettle.
I stir my tea, turn the page. Centuries pass. (Or don't.)
A man, lame forty years, walks. Peter and John are arrested.
A fat bee browses the spirea. The Sanhedrin interrogates, but
releases the zealots for fear of stirring riot. Squirrels chirr
in the hollow bole of the silver maple. Would I have spoken
or kept silent? Goldflame spirea, bright corymbs of fuchsia.
A crow calls from the barnlot, a blue jay from the forest.
An ant walks over the meeting place shook,
and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit.
(This poem first appeared in Windhover: A Journal of Christian Literature Volume 20, Spring 2016)