this is untitled as I begin to write because there aren’t adequate words to describe my experience this morning. There are no words to describe the events that have taken place in our nation these past weeks, from Orlando to Dallas and everything in between; what has gone before and what is yet to come. We are a nation in mourning, a nation in chaos, a nation in anger, a nation broken up by our own divisiveness, a nation in pain, a nation searching for solutions, a nation grieving from the wounds inflicted from within. We have seen the enemy and the enemy is us, ourselves. We are the enemy.
We are the enemy every time we wrong our neighbor, our coworker, our family member, the stranger on the street. We are the enemy every time we speak hatefully of those who do not look like we do or live like we do. We would do well to watch our words because our words eventually become our actions. And we have all seen what that looks like over and over again as it plays out on the evening news.
This morning for a few hours I experienced the solution, I lived the solution, I lived the dream, I was privileged to be a part of the vision that most of us say we share but do little to bring about. I said I lived the dream of peace and reconciliation for a few hours but this was not a dream. This was the truest reality, full of the mixture of pain and joy, anger and compassion, hope and despair, emptiness and fulfillment, guilt and forgiveness, isolation and acceptance, failure and success, mortality and eternity, that each of us carries around with us every day.
This was Sunday morning worship with my brothers and sisters. We look like heaven here on earth. “. . . before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. . . . they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’.” Revelation 7:9-10 That was us on this Sunday morning, crying out to our Creator God after a week of witnessing man’s inhumanity to man, we gathered to practice the opposite. We talked, we shared, we listened to each other, we cried, we joined our hands, we prayed together and ended by singing songs of praise to our God.
For these few hours this morning I experienced the joy of love, acceptance, forgiveness, safety, freedom to be myself as I extend to others that same freedom, all while worshiping our God together. Yes, in this inner city church on this Sunday morning, while the world went about business as usual, we all experienced a little bit of heaven here on earth. Pews filled with every skin color God created, all ages, backgrounds, occupations, ethnicities; united in worship, formed into a family by our Heavenly Father. This is the world we want, this is the world we wait for. This is the world as it was meant to be, a world where peace prevails.
My few hours this morning were in stark contrast to my experiences of this week leading up to today. This seems to be the way it is, joy is so fleeting, pain so persistent. Yet these snatches of joy amid the grief and the loss that are a part of daily life here on earth, provide us the glimpses of heaven we need to keep our hope alive. Today I had a glimpse of heaven. I wish each of you could too.
sincerely, Grace Day