Blog Archives

The City of God

Once, in a dream                                                                                                                                    I found myself in a coat,
– nothing else.
I had no money,
credit cards or credentials,
not a single clue
to my financial status.

I had no memory
of friends or family,
if I was loved by many
or by anyone at all.

I didn’t even know my name.

I was standing alone
at the gate of a golden city
full of sunlit buildings
on an ocean’s edge
of clean white sand.

Inside the city
friendly faces welcomed me
lavishly sharing food,
even their houses,
anything I needed,

completely free.

No questions were asked.
No one cared
who I was or knew
or what, if anything,
I had accomplished.

The whole city
embraced me
like a family
long awaiting
my coming home.

My empty heart
soaked up love
until it shone,
becoming part of

the Golden City of God.

Never Wanted to Go to Heaven

I never really wanted to go to heaven; just wanted to make sure I avoided going to hell, if there was one.  The problem was that my personality likes diversity and change.  I just couldn’t imagine any kind of heaven I would enjoy for eternity.  (Eternity sounds like a very very long time.)

After a conversion from agnosticism complete with an experience of the unlimited, no conditions love expressed in Jesus, I felt pretty sure there was a heaven that would work for everyone, even me.  But I still couldn’t imagine it.

Some years into my spiritual journey I had an experience of such intense and enormous joy, that from then on I was much more excited about going to heaven and not so concerned with the details.

My brother and I were traveling together and the experience was so overwhelming that we each simultaneously asked God to stop it for fear we would actually explode.  I won’t go into much detail, because I think these experiences come about differently for everyone.  We both experienced a moment of great clarity in which we felt, saw, heard  and were a part of a crowd around Jesus singing praise in the presence of God.  After sharing with one another, we decided that what we had each experienced was very similar, but also realized that there was no way to measure or compare.  We both experienced as much joy as we were each able to bear at that point in our lives. So, whether it was an ocean of joy or a cup of joy simply didn’t matter.

Over the forty plus years since then, I have come to believe that the capacity for experiencing joy and the capacity for accepting suffering are linked. I don’t know if there is a cause and effect relationship or just some sort of spiritual law of balance.  My instinct says that joy is the grace that gives us the freedom to accept heart break without dulling the pain through anger or depression or an addiction (even one to doing good or working constantly.)  But my experience also has been that in accepting the painful darkness of sorrow, I find the peace that passes understanding. And that peace is quiet joy.

As the psalm says, “But then comes the morning, yesterdays sorrows behind.”