Heaven Breaking Through

_CES7864I have found it interesting that some of the great Christian preachers/writers from the past that are known for their serious works have written such beautiful things about nature.  Jonathan Edwards, best known for his sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” wrote eloquently about Creation’s beauty.  St. Augustine, whose works are quite weighty to say the least, likewise, wrote lovely words about finding and experiencing God in nature.

cardinal 387Recently I came across another example.  William Law is widely known as the author of the devotional classic A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life.  It is, as the title suggests, a serious book.  I guess that’s why I was surprised to read this lovely quote by Law, “All that is sweet, delightful, and amiable in this world, in the serenity of the air, the fineness of the seasons, the joy of light, the melody of sounds, the beauty of colors, the fragrancy of smells, the splendor of precious stones, is nothing else but Heaven breaking through the veil of this world.”  I really like what William Law says here.  He sees in God’s Creation heaven “breaking through” so that we might catch glimpses of it.  He felt that we can experience a bit of heaven here on earth by paying attention to what is all around us.  Others have certainly suggested the same thing.  In Celtic Spirituality one often reads about “thin places” where the veil between heaven and earth is quite tenuous indeed.

Those desiring to experience a bit of heaven on earth can find it, Law posits, in a lot of different places.   He speaks in comprehensive terms when he says “all that is sweet, delightful, and amiable in this world” but he goes on to offer some more specific examples: the air, the seasons, light, sounds, color, and smells.  I like the fact that he also includes “the splendor of precious stones.”  Law may have had jewels in mind here but I find so much beauty in common rocks.

RRG-425I encourage you to consider seriously (I just had to say that) the idea that glimpses of heaven are all around you.  In light of the current state of the world, it’s nice to know that there are “foretastes of glory divine” to be found.  How foolish it would be for us not to take advantage of them.  Wouldn’t you agree?

–Chuck

(I took the picture of the rocks in Maine. I photographed the cardinal in my yard today.  The tree in the field was also taken in Kentucky, near Red River Gorge National Geological Area.)