Earth’s crammed

July 12, 2011

“Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes; The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Well, I didn’t sit around and pluck blackberries, but before church Sunday Diane and I plucked five pounds of blueberries.    And guess what, out in the country, far from the city, (Ha! we were still only a half hour from Buffalo.) heaven was everywhere to be seen.  In the berry bushes with three hundred thousand stages of ripeness, in the wasps (Stay out of rows 24-26!), in the Pileated Woodpecker calling and banging in the trees, in the sky with the perfect ratio of white-to-blue, in the grand-dad and his grand-kids; heaven was everywhere if one bothered to look.  Every common blueberry bush was afire with God.

Sometimes we allow our circumstances to become the object of our focus and thus we  take our eyes off the Savior.  Like Peter, we see the wind instead of the miracle.  Previous to walking my current path, I never understood how Peter could see wind.   I understand, now.  I see the invisible.  I hear the inaudible.  I’ve always appreciated and loved nature, I’ve always seen how earth is crammed full of heaven, but I think I appreciate it more.  Sure the wind still blows, hard sometimes.  When that happens I am trying to learn to look for a sail or a kite, or possibly a three-bladed wind turbine.

Heaven on earth is not a new house, new car, new Taylor guitar (blaspheme, I know) or even a full refrigerator. Common bushes afire are found in walks with my wife, in worship, even in plucking blueberries.

Sometimes it is a still small voice we hear, all but inaudible except for those who are listening.  I don’t know how, but when I return to a meaningful life once again, I will make time, schedule it if necessary, to look for the invisible and listen for the inaudible.  It is in seeing and hearing those things that hope lies.


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