We would be,
all of us,
detained at heaven’s border,
illegal immigrants all;
from our loved ones;
Were it not
for God’s outrageous mercy,
his willingness to spend
his very life
so that we
not only citizens of his realm,
but his very sons and daughters,
sharing his home,
his very life.
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God himself is never safe from us…He comes in such a way that we can always turn him down…in the hungry people we do not have to feed…in the lonely people we do not have to comfort…in all the desperate human need of people everywhere that we are always free to turn our backs upon.
Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons, “The Face in the Sky”
I recently finished reading the complete short stories of Flannery O’Connor. Her stories have always been a mystery to me, but I love her writing. Today I’m sharing an extended quote from one of my favorites, Revelation.
I’m also sharing some music I posted some time ago on my other site, dwpianomusic.com. The piece is called The Strongest Prayer I Know. The third “movement” of that piece is, in my mind, firmly tied to and inspired by this passage from O’Connor. It is the victory recessional, a cortege for all whose shortcomings and sufferings in this life are finally burned away as they climb through the “field of living fire…upward into the starry field…shouting hallelujah.” In my imagination, included (maybe at the very front) are the “little ones” I refer to in that post.