“…a greater glory I may one day see, but oh today, dear earth, how I love thee.”
— Louise E. Weber, as recorded in the notes of Ronald Reagan
Skeptics sometimes describe those of us who believe in heaven as people for whom religion is a crutch; a desperate hope to which we cling when things go wrong. That may be true in some cases, but I believe it’s mostly a misconception among those who don’t understand or share our beliefs. While we do hold fast to our faith in hard times, we never feel closer to heaven than when we see earth at its best.
Standing among breathtakingly beautiful surroundings that could never have been crafted by human hands, I feel deeply the need to say “thank you” and equally deeply, the sense that the Creator hears me. It may sound contradictory, but there is something unearthly about the most beautiful sights and experiences we take in during our relatively short sojourn here.
When we see indescribable vistas, experience moments of love, warmth or humor, or feel elation at the first touch of spring or fall in the air, it feels perfect, yet often it’s also, somehow, incomplete. The deepest ecstasies of life carry within them tiny fragments of sorrow or at least wistfulness; we wish the moment could last longer; we wish we could share it with loved ones not present; we wish earth did not hold so much ugliness to counteract its beauty.
At such times, I think most of the believers I know will see in the incomplete perfection of earth a hint of what lies just beyond our reach as physically finite people who can conceive of, and long for, infinity. I hope you will be touched by beauty today, and if it is tinged with sadness, I hope you can reach beyond what is seen, and open your heart to the unseen.