A Glimpse of Heaven

The tears began to stream down his careworn cheeks. As he looked out over the crowd, full of bright-eyed, growing children of God, he realized they were all part of a legacy.

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When He Returns: A Short Story

The old man was dying. His ribs shook with the effort of drawing each breath, and his wrinkled hands lay weak upon his chest.

“Please,” a young boy whimpered. “Please don’t go.”

The man turned to look into the boy’s eyes. “I will come back,” he said with sudden strength. “You will see me again.”

“But when?” the boy demanded. “When will I see you again? Will it be long?”

“Kingdoms will fall,” said the man, more slowly. “Earthquakes will cause the earth to tremble, fires will rage, people will turn against each other. Great destruction will come upon this world. But don’t worry. After that, I will come back.”

The man closed his eyes and sighed once. He died. But when he had passed, there was a look of eternal peace on his face, and the boy was comforted.

For the next ten years, the boy visited the old man’s grave every day, without fail. He longed to see the man again. He needed his wisdom. But for ten years he didn’t see the man, and he began to lose hope.

The flags were at half-mast more and more often, and for longer periods of time. Always, there was something wrong. The world would not rest, the people would not be satisfied. The world lived in fear of destruction, of falling kingdoms which had once been full of glory. The world was fading away, and memories of the old man were fading with it.

But the boy refused to forget. Though he wasn’t a boy physically, his mind never left that moment by the dying man’s bedside. He never forgot what the old man had told him.

One day a fire started nearby. Hysterical with tears, the young man rushed to the grave he had visited faithfully for so long. It was coming for him, he knew, and he wanted to die by the grave, even if death meant the man had broken his promise.

He fell upon the grass and cowered against the stone. He could see smoke rising from the horizon. It drew closer, closer, ever closer, and still the old man did not come back.

The young man felt darkness rolling across his eyes, but even as he slipped away he saw a light from Heaven, and a man descending from the clouds.

“My son, I am well pleased with you. You had doubts, yes, but still you hung on. Now come, follow me. I have returned.”

~*~

(Inspired from Luke 21:5-36)

Training Ground

Bloom where you’re planted, but don’t be afraid to be uprooted when it’s time for you to grow elsewhere.

I wrote that down towards the beginning of this journey. I realized that it was the start of some grand adventure that God had laid out for me. I realized it was time for a change. It was time to learn new things in a new environment.

But it’s hard.

Fridays hit me the worst.

I look back with deeper longing on all that once was. I wish I could go back. I wish I could learn all these lessons and keep my comforts, too.

I need to learn that many of the lessons come in being uprooted. They come in the pain of digging up realizations and planting new perspectives. They come in the ache of missing what used to be. They come in the tears shed on a weekend when everyone else has somewhere to be. They come in the pang of an unanswered phone call.

It hasn’t been entirely horrible. I’ve smiled a lot this week, and for that I am thankful. I’m thankful for the dear friend that helps me laugh and feel encouraged even when we’ve both had a tiring day. God has brought me much peace and comfort through her. (Love you, friend! Salad always makes the pizza – and ice cream and everything else – healthy.)

I’m trying to think of this as a training ground. I don’t know for sure, yet, what the Lord has in store for me, though I’m feeling a stronger and stronger nudge in a certain direction. I know that path will require great strength and faith to follow. Until then, here is my battleground, and here is the soil in which I must grow.

~*~

Send out Your light and Your truth;
     let them lead me;
let them bring me to Your holy hill
     and to Your dwelling!
// psalm 43:3

Speak

Speak up! they say. Engage in conversation! they say.

It’s not so easy. In a room full of people, we’re a foreign voice. We’re an unknown.

People don’t like the unknown. I certainly don’t. It’s uncomfortable. It forces both parties out of their shells, which makes for some pretty choppy waters.

The goal is to get past that initial moment of awkwardness. Once that chasm is bridged, words can flow freely. There aren’t anymore uncomfortable pauses. Rather, silence is okay. When the words are no longer awkward, the silence isn’t, either.

It seems to me that most friendships begin with a form of awkwardness. It takes a healthy amount of courage to step out and expose oneself to a new human. But once that step has been taken? Wow. Great things can happen.

With some people it happens faster than with others. At that point, it’s about being patient and trusting with the big picture. We can’t rush something that needs time to develop, nor can we slow down something that’s intended to start right here and right now.

God gives us the spirit of courage to speak, even though we are human and tremble (2 Timothy 1:7). Therefore, let us go forth in faith, seeking ways to pursue as we have been pursued in Christ’s love.

Just the Beginning

It’s not so much “good bye” as “see you later.”

I have to keep reminding myself that.

There’s this constant ache to bare my soul, but there’s no one to bare it to.

There’s this constant nudge to leave, but there’s nowhere to go.

There’s this constant pressure to speak up, but there’s nothing to say.

There’s this constant need to fill the silence, but there’s no sound to make.

There’s this constant desire to sing, but there’s no song in my mouth.

There’s this constant urge to ask questions, but I don’t know what for.

Yet.

The journey has only just begun. I’m only on the cusp of discovery. I’m only just learning how to use my wings, and how to navigate these new skies. It’ll get easier. It just takes some time. It takes patient waiting. It takes trust, and a constant hope in the God who led me here knowing full well that I would struggle, yet leading me through it all the same because He sees the good in all this. He will get me through.

Heart of my own heat, whatever befall
Still be my vision, O ruler of all.

PSA: A Few Changes

As you might have been able to sense from recent posts, I’m slowly transitioning this blog from a strictly analytical outlet towards incorporating real-life experiences, lending a more personal voice to my work. That being said, here’s a short list of some changes I’m making, as well as what will remain the same.

What’s changing?

  • More personalized content in a rambling/metaphorical style, allowing me to connect better with readers while still remaining somewhat anonymous.
  • A less rigid post schedule. Up to this point, I’ve written weekly. I want to give myself freedom to write outside of that schedule, without placing expectations on myself to write super often. I’ll write as inspiration strikes. When it doesn’t, I’ll dig into my ever-growing store of emergency posts. For now, you can expect more frequent content! Alas, I sadly cannot predict the course of this journey, and there may be a few seasons of drought. Either way, I’m excited to continue shouting my thoughts into this void that is the Internet. (That sounded terrible… whoops.)

What’s staying?

  • My reflections and studies of Scripture. God’s Word is so, so important to me, and I want to continue sharing with you what the Holy Spirit places on my heart. I may not have a very big readership, but it is my prayer that God uses my writing to bless even a few.
  • Poetry! I recently deleted my poetry blog because it was too overwhelming to keep up two blogs at once. Quiet Evidence is now the permanent-ish location for my poetic ventures, and I’ll hopefully be posting a little more of that in the coming months.

I won’t bore you with any more housekeeping items (for now – I make no promises for the future). Have a blessed day!