The walls felt cold, when we first stepped in, new to us and oh so bare. I wondered how many other people have stepped across this threshold; how many other characters have played a part in this house’s story.
The rain came in with our tires and we raced the storm as best we could, lugging in box after box, soaked with droplets from the crying sky. We stood in the midst of wet boxes and white walls and sneakers squeaky from water, and we looked at each other- really looked. Amidst the exhaustion, the nine hour drive, the frizzy hair and the sweaty clothes, here we stood, and these white walls and wet boxes were ours. We swallowed hard, wanting to laugh and cry, and for one small moment, one that may have been waiting for us for years, perhaps centuries, we knew that the path we were on was good. As we stood aI caught a glimpse of one eternal day, when we will always know that where we are and who we are is good.
The pews were hard and the sun made the stain glass colors bounce off our clothes. We stood to sing that ancient hymn, the notes etched in love by our fathers. We sang and I swelled with the voices of my own, those who had given their weekend to help us unpack and then showered us with gifts, who brought us food and then took us out, whose laughter and sweet spirits made the transition lightyears easier. My mother, father, sister and brother, voices weaving in harmony around me like a blanket. So much love, in those voices, for each other and their maker, and I cried with joy for the day when we will sing together eternally alongside the writers of these hymns, in the presence of he who inspired them.
The ATM blinked as we pressed it for cash, and then hastily spat out the bills. We looked at the paper thin, black and white receipt, only to realize that, once again, we had enough. Enough for the move, for the new washer and dryer. Enough to cover food and four states of gas. And a check was on its way, which would again be enough. And I began to wonder if maybe for too long I have been fearing the God behind the wind and the fire, when all the while I am cared for by the God of the still, small voice. Perhaps, I wonder, I spend too much time thinking He is angry when really He sees me and loves and delights. I think to the day when I will not question who I am and where I stand with him; when I will know he really is a Father and so of course loves me as one, and I am hopeful.
Little, tiny, bits of heaven. When the world is broken, when streets are dirty and the sky is cloudy, it can be hard to see them. We see death and sorrow, pain and sadness, and we claim, adamantly that there is no god. And it would seem so, were the good missing as well. But amidst the darkness and confusion we see flowers bloom and babies born. Amidst crying we hear laughter, and parallel to famine are fine wine and spices. Little, tiny, glimpses- proof we are created, joys to be had in this world, longings of the world to come. They may not be loud, like the wind and the fire, but they are there and just as real, in the still small voices of the ordinary day. Victory is here. And Victory is coming.
Let us choose to see and choose to give thanks for these little bits of heaven.