whispered love
the beautiful country




I am homesick for the garden. Not simply the garden of my youth but the great garden from which - for a little while - we live in exile. I mean, that land of the saints, the beautiful country, the beautiful country of God.

Oh, I had such a dream, and in the dream I felt I saw the borderlands of the heavenly country.

Three things I found: first, such rest, such a lifting of burdens, such a place of strong peace, that can never be disturbed; second, the radiant beauty and shining glory, for it is breathtaking, fresh, and lovely; but most of all, I found God was everywhere, God's lovely presence and kindness, here, wherever I went.

I can never forget that dream. I am always homesick and longing to return there. But in a multiplicity of little acts of love, perhaps we can see its beauty breaking through, because the eternal country is so close, so real, so near, so present. I see it breaking out in other people's acts of kindness and compassion: in the people I nurse alongside, and in patients and their loved ones. Sometimes this side of eternity it feels like 'nowhere', but in fact, the eternal is always close by, just the other side of a veil, and time and again, it can convert to 'now here'. Now here, in the spilling out of love... in nature, in loving kindness, in moments or relationship and engagement.





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