I stood staring at the edifice before me, present and real, so close that I could practically touch it, but not truly within reach, just beyond my grasp. It rose up from the earth and towered into the night sky, with something like vertical boards—streaked in red—peeling, and revealing a natural wood beneath; and as it rose to the stars, its sides converged into a peek, like the topmost part of a roof. And I saw that this could be my home, and it had been made for me, and all I had to do was enter. Yet, I couldn’t.
There wasn’t a light inside, but there might have been. The windows were darkened now, but at some time—in the not so distant past—they had been ablaze. Golden light had streamed forth from within and cast the outer landscape in a joyous hue. The rocks, which were strewn here and there upon the footpath that led away from the edifice had been golden, and they rested comfortably in the soil.
What was this place, if not a symbol of my eternal abode? An icon of paradise, or the doorway to it; but also lowering upon me like a casket—leaning, and appearing to be falling onto me. Snuffing out hope; or kindling hope? Perhaps both snuffing and kindling—snuffing false hopes and kindling truer ones.
I was as much a child of the earth as anyone. Just like you are, I’m supposing. And I didn’t want to take that step too quickly, not quite yet, not too soon. Even if the door is open and all it takes is a bit of effort, to light the dark, and to answer the call. No, I still had pain to live, and anxieties called me to listen; there is suffering yet to be had in the guise of desire.
And ambitions, didn’t they still have a role to play—to draw me (and to quarter me)? I jest, or I just play with words for a brief moment. Torture, surely passions would torture me when they could, or I might torture myself were I not protected. If another light didn’t light the way, when my light went dim, I could surely fall, and bruise much more than just my knees. And were it not for that other light, I would be in darkness indeed!
And all of this is simply to say, not so artfully, that I am in need. This world piles on, and over us, and on and on, piling ever on; and we run, we run and try to hide, or try to find, that special peace: that is just around the corner, just over the hill, just beyond the horizon, or streaming from an icon. And all the while, God is watching, watching over us, and waiting, waiting for us.
That edifice—our home—it has a threshold, that we must step over—if we are to enter. What does it take, to take that step? Courage, determination, peace. They say that home is where the heart is. So shall we enter our home across the threshold of our heart? Will we find that glimmer of paradise here, and shining into the world to come?