as it is in heaven

My mind is on heaven today. Since I woke up this morning the phrase “on earth as it is in heaven” has been traversing my thoughts and feelings; and this journey reminded me of one of my favourite statements from William Blake, “The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel’d to heaven is no artist.”

For a very long time heaven had, in my mind, been an abstract destination that I regarded with a seemingly contradictory mix of anticipation and skepticism – a paradise lost and only redeemable post-mortem. My perspective on it has shifted immensely and I can now say with certainty that I define heaven as being where God is. Confucius takes a similar approach when he says that heaven means to be one with God. I love Ayn Rand’s debunking of the notion that heaven can only be experienced once we exit this life, “Ask yourself whether the dream of heaven and greatness should be waiting for us in our graves – or whether it should be ours here and now and on this earth.”

A cursory glance at the society we live in reveals that we are not living in heaven, on the contrary I have a great deal of understanding for people who are inclined to lean to the hellish side of the spectrum when they describe the injustices so prevalent in the world. So, how do we change this? My instinctive reaction is borrowed from the Beatles, “All you need is love.” Bear with me for a moment while I qualify this seemingly one-dimensional pop reference.

C.S Lewis said that love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness; and I find his perspective particularly pertinent in this context. When love evolves from being a warm and fuzzy feeling that we carry in us, to a consuming fire that catalyses acts of compassion – heaven on earth becomes a reality.

I find myself turning to William Blake again as it seems quite apt that he have the final word, “Love seeketh not itself to please, nor for itself hath any care, but for another gives its ease, and builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”

The footnote goes to Jars of Clay and their song, Small Rebellions

“God of the break and shatter
Hearts in every form still matter
In our weakness help us see
That alone we’ll never be
Lifting any burdens off our shoulders

If our days could be filled with small rebellions
Senseless brutal acts of kindness from us all
If we stand between the fear and firm foundation
Push against the current and the fall, the current and the fall

God of the worn and tattered
All of your people matter
Give us more than words to speak
‘Cause we are hearts and arms that reach
And love climbs up and down the human ladder”

One thought on “as it is in heaven”

  1. I enjoyed this read 🙂 its when we get past the warm fuzzy feeling about love that we bloom in love. Like the pics too 🙂

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