Sunday, September 18, 2005

This Island and a Glimpse of Heaven

I took this picture less than a month ago, on the north shore of Kauai. This photo is now the desktop background on my PC at the office. It miss this spot a great deal, and this photo touches, for me, the wonderful beauty of the mystery of this journey through life. I still cannot believe I stood waist deep in warm Hawaiian waters and took this picture. Why was I given this wonderful moment with my sweet family, and why have I been graced with a loving wife and two wonderful girls?

I am of the opinion that it would be wonderful if much of life could be set to music, and if this moment were to be set to music it would be the music of
Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole, and, it would be this song (go ahead and play it from NPR while you read the rest of this). "IZ" only lived to the age of 38, but seemed to have a wonderful spirit, which lives on in his music.

One of my favorite authors is
Frederick Buechner, and he wrote something in Longing for Home, that has marked my life, because he described so well moments I have had in my own journey through life. In short, Buechner described an otherwise ordinary day at Sea World with his family in which he had the sense of mind to recognize that God was showing him something remarkable. For more details, buy the book, you will be glad you did.

Have we all not had brief moments where we have fleetingly seen a glimpse of the
Home we are heading to? The trick is recognizing these moments. They are like trying to hold mercury in your hands, they slip away so quickly. The wedding of dear friends, the embrace of a loved one, the smile of a baby, a brilliant sunset, a quiet night in a place where there are millions of stars overhead. Most remarkably of course, the presence of God, strangely warming our hearts.

On that warm summer day on Tunnels Beach, I felt almost sure that heaven had dipped so low I could nearly touch it. I know its there, and someday, I will head Home. May we be granted the grace to recognize when Heaven passes near, while we are still down here.
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