25 September 2007


After dinner, I went into the central courtyard and lay down on my back on a stone bench. I meant to get out my computer and look for internet, but the sun had set, leaving a splash of deep orange in the western clouds and I couldn’t resist watching it. I strongly advise watching a sunset from a lying-down position. The clouds hung in a low ceiling right over my head and I could see why the colors inspires people to imagine that heaven lies beyond the clouds, or that heaven is composed of those colors.

It got darker. I listened to the four songs that I downloaded to my iPod right before I left the US. One of them is Nickelback’s “If Everyone Cared.” The second verse starts out like this:

And in the end
The fireflies
Our only light
In paradise

In one of those strange life coincidences, a firefly flickered twice over my head as those lines played in a place that felt as close as the world comes to paradise.

The eastern sky was bright with reflected sunlight, I thought. It seemed, though, to get brighter rather than darker as the light disappeared in the west. I thought about how, when I was younger, every time I saw a strange light in the sky, I thought, “Jesus is coming back.” It always scared me, because I was afraid I had some stored up un-confessed sins like, I don’t know, hating my annoying brother.

My Jesus has mellowed, however, and my confidence in grace has grown. I no longer fear divine vengeance for individual sin so much as for what we humans make of the earth for which we are supposed to be caring.

The light in the east got brighter.

Suddenly, I sat up, realizing, “Oh. The moon.”


I went to fetch my headlamp and my jacket.

1 comment:

traci said...

one of the most amazing things for me to see as a pastor is that, for the most part, jesus seems to get mellower as we get older, just like you said. it is the senior members of my congregation (again, with exception) who remind me about grace. why are we so hard on ourselves when we are young?