The Kingdom of Heaven

Whenever I pray I say “Lord, You are my home and my destination.” I have a sense of being in powerful movement. Movement implies away from and towards. The away from is clear. It’s my life, the flesh, the whole aching incarnate reality. The towards part is harder to understand. Many Christians see it as Heaven. We’ll get through the hardship of life and find ourselves restored, even the flesh restored, in the Kingdom of God.

That’s never felt real, or even that interesting to me. The ‘me’ of me is a construct, a locus of consciousness situated in time and space, and a lot of the time and space it’s been situated in has been very difficult, from severe and ongoing childhood trauma through the downstream effects of that into blindness and poverty. I have very little interest in being that me any more, and I can’t imagine being any other me.

I can say these things with joy, which is interesting. Yes, I’m blind and I’m poor and I had a rough life, but outside of the context of it I’m feeling held, more and more, all the time. When the Bill mind is dark and full of pain and sadness, more and more I know that I am held, that I can cry out “Oh Papa,” and be comforted.

I think that something is growing in me. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you, among you, a mustard seed. It’s interesting because whatever that thing is that I feel growing, it’s definitely not the Bill mind. It’s like anti-matter to Bill matter, the other side of the equation. And it’s creating a remarkable sense of movement. Like the words of the spiritual “I’m going home on the morning train, I’m going home on the morning train; I’m going home on the moring train, if you don’t see me you’ll hear me singing.”

It’s the movement that’s real. “This train is bound for glory, this train.” It’s not the destination. Maybe we can’t imagine it. Maybe it doesn’t quite work that way. In the last of the Narnia books all the English children who have, over the years, visited Narnia, are all killed in a train wreck. We don’t know this till later. Hope this isn’t a spoiler for you if you haven’t read the book yet. Narnia is in a state of terminal catastrophe, and at the end of the book Aslan unmakes it, as he had made it, and the children and their Narnian friends pass through a portal, en route to Asland’s country. They meet all their old friends, some of them dead a thousand years in Narnian time, but it’s not static. There’s the ongoing call “Further up and further in!” There’s no stopping, no finality. It’s the wild unrestricted rush into God, not the arrival, that counts.

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