Earth’s crammed with heaven…
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes.
― Elizabeth Barrett Browning,
When’s the last time you reflected on the very best moments of your life?
For my Theology of Spirituality graduate studies, I’m reading a memoir called “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken.
I know. It sounds like a delight, right?
It actually really is, on a very deep level.
During the grieving process of losing his young wife, Sheldon realized to a profound degree the significance of the best, most love-filled moments throughout the life he’d shared with her.
In spite of their constant battle with the busyness of mundane responsibilities, some memories had a spiritual significance that transcended time and space. He said “I realized that without conscious awareness of it I had had – we all have had — other glimpses of the eternal.”
This realization helped him connect with the timeless essence of his wife in heaven and grow in deeper awareness of God’s presence in his life.
I hope he’s right that we ALL are given glimpses of heaven through experiences on earth. I know I have been.
I have divine childhood memories of being totally lost and free in the bliss of my imagination playing with my brother.
Running through the fall leaves as a cross country runner, while laughing with friends gave me a transcendent feeling of freedom and connection with what I now know is grace.
Through falling for the love of my life and marrying him, I have experienced countless moments of divine perfection. The joy we share, along with the security of unwavering love and support can only come from God.
Many moments with our children are heavenly as well. Rocking my babies and letting loose to giggle and play with my growing boys stand out as particularly divine, along with a growing sense of connection of our family as a whole.
All the very best experiences of my life include a sense of connection with others, pure love and freedom in being able to relax and be myself, with my spirit, senses and emotions all fully engaged.
At times I have made the mistake of giving credit to the person, place or thing that seemed to make so happy.
Through my own sorrows and life experiences, I have learned to let go of that illusion.
Now, like Vanauken, I give credit to God for creating that sense of transcendent joy through relationships and experiences.
I increasingly realize that everything is vulnerable to change on the physical plane, except His eternal love which is with us always.
We just need to have eyes to see Him in the people, places and experiences of our lives.
The more we focus on the timeless bliss of His love for us through prayer and meditation, the more of His spiritual freedom we begin to experience and the more gracefully we’ll pass through the disappointments of life.
He is truly available to us all through faith, in every circumstance.
When have you glimpsed the eternal in your life on earth? I pray you can clearly see God’s presence in your life!