Friday, June 5, 2015

Heaven





Have you ever had one of those “glimpse of heaven” moments? The trigger may have been something as simple as clouds parting to reveal a patch of clear blue sky, or light streaming through an open window, and for a split second, you’ve ached for heaven.

Those moments can be brief and unexpected, and characterized by something close to pure joy, and then maybe there’s a small catch in your throat, and you’re left with an ache for more. I think that’s what C.S. Lewis was referring to when he said, "Our best havings are wantings".

The Bible gives us glimpses of heaven in word pictures, using things we already know and love, to give us a glimpse of the unknown. Let’s consider a few of them:




BROAD VISTAS




Your eyes will see the King in His beauty, and view a land that stretches afar.

Isaiah 33:17




WATER




...the Lord will rule there as our mighty King.
Rivers and wide streams will flow through it...

Isaiah 33:21





 

"I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the End.
To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the springs of the water of life."

Revelation 21:6





LIGHT




There will be no more night.
They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, 
for the Lord God will give them light.

Revelation 22:5






TREES




On each side of the river stood the tree of life,
bearing twelve crops of fruit, 
yielding its fruit every month.
And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:2





PEACE




"The wolf and the lamb will feed together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox, and dust will be the serpent's food.
They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain," says the Lord.

Isaiah 65:25









Though heaven may be mysterious, God never intended the way to heaven to be a mystery. On one of Jesus' last days on earth, He had a conversation with His disciples about heaven, and Thomas voiced what a lot of people wonder about:



"Lord, we don't know where You are going, so how can we know the way?"

Jesus answered:
"I am the way and the truth and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through Me."

John 14:5, 6







I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God,
so that you may know that you have eternal life.

1 John 5:13







Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.

Isaiah 35:5, 6



Saturday, May 9, 2015

Wild Morning




Some days just seem to be full of animals. Take this morning. Before dawn the only sound that broke the silence was the distant chant of a whip-poor-will, but four does, their bellies heavy with fawns, grazed at the edge of the north woods. By the time bird song filled the air, the turkeys arrived, just over the brow of the hill to the east, where they preened and fanned out their feathers in perfect symmetry. They were joined by crows, two rabbits and a chipmunk.




The bravest of the rabbits made his way to the front yard, where he preened himself...




 cleaned up a few dandilions...




 and helped himself to clover.




But then, there was the flowerbed, and how could he resist? 




"Not a good idea, you say?"





"I'm really just looking..."




"...until tonight!"








Saturday, April 25, 2015

Phoebe Song


Eastern Phoebe singing in dogwood tree


From a branch in the old dogwood tree at the edge of the yard, 
we can hear the Phoebe singing her unique song, calling out her name again and again, 
"Phoebe, Phoebe, Phoebe". 

She has a good reason to sing.  
The construction is completed on her new nest, 
located on a ledge at the top of a pillar under the roof of the front porch.
She keeps one eye on it from the dogwood tree.



Eastern Phoebe on a ledge


Several generations of Phoebes have grown up on our front porch, 
right where we could watch them from the kitchen window. 
They make an awful mess, but a little cleanup seems a reasonable price for front row tickets.

Several years ago, when we had a mason wrap our wooden pillars with cultured stone, 
we asked him to build special shelves at the tops with the Phoebes in mind.
He humored us, and the Phoebes made their preference known by moving away.
For years, we only heard their song from a distance.  

They are finally back, but they ignored our special addition for them,
 and built their nest on the other side of the pillar, away from the kitchen. 
It's made of grass and hair, and covered with bright green moss.



Eastern Phoebe annimation


Outside, the Phoebe flies to the supplejack above the birdbath, 
which she has commandeered as her command post, pausing and wagging her tail, 
and then to the top of a tall oak, where her song continues.

And we wait, trying not to count our Phoebes before they are laid.