Heaven On Earth
Time in its merciless way, took me with it and hurled me into space. The years seemed like weeks that seemed like days that seemed like hours. When I finally came to my senses, I looked around and wondered where it went to. I was a bewildered sailor lost at sea. Before death had finally engulfed me with its white wings, I wanted to visit my friend from school who had fallen onto hard times. He was always so kind to me, so my conscience begged me to reciprocate. I jumped in my car and traveled many hours until I reached my destination.
I drove into his rundown apartment complex, but couldn’t see the numbers on the buildings. They were obliterated by graffiti. I had to ask the neighbors where the building was.
Some people told me, “None of your business.” Some didn’t answer at all. They just stared at me as if they wanted to kill me. I finally found some children that knew the family.
As I knocked on the door hoping it was him, I felt a lump in my throat. Fear had taken over me. I anticipated the worst that could happen. Someone else could be living there.
My friend was well dressed as he answered the door. His beaming smile lit up the entire room. The shelves were crammed with books and manuscripts. His wife offered me tea and sugar cookies, and his children were all so polite and well mannered. He invited me to stay as long as I desired. I asked him if I could do anything for him, but he said he was as fine as could be.
His speech was well refined as he spoke to me. “This is Heaven on Earth that we live in. It is not angels singing celestial music and playing their golden harps nor love and its perpetual bliss. It is an awareness of what it is and what makes the spirit advance toward the light in spite of worldly hardships.
It leads us to the divinity of our souls where wealth and poverty have no influence on us, and where God’s grace reigns and is the cause of our contentment; what we make of the Hell that we live in.
If contentment is in a pile of gold, then so be it. If it is in the act of superiority or revenge, then so be it. If it is in what you are, it shall be in what you have or don’t have. It is a chosen life alienated from other influences. It dwells in its own private haven where the soul rests.
Life is a mixture of sweetness, sorrow, passion, covetousness, revenge, all receptacles of what life throws us into. Our Heaven on Earth lies in our hearts where God is in command. To us who have little, our contentment rests in God’s hands.
Poverty and sorrow purify our hearts as we move toward our reckoning. When we rise to meet the arms of Heaven, we won’t have the weight of worldly contempt pulling us back down.”
As I drove home the next day, I kept thinking to myself. He and his family survived and kept their dignity through all that surrounded him. God bless them all.
Featured in my book entitled, "A Sage's Diary."