Since I can’t sleep tonight, let me share something nice that happened today (actually, I guess it happened yesterday since it’s now Tuesday)
I got a truly lovely e-mail today from a friend who had THIS: “I enjoyed seeing your family photo in your blog recently. One day we will ALL look younger, be in good health, have unbroken relationships and no sin to deal with because God will wipe away all our tears (and I am looking forward to that!)….” to say about THIS.
First let me point out that the photo looks funny because I recently changed my blog theme and have not yet revisited all my old entries to make sure they look okay. I did find a heinous typo that I need to go back and correct (hear instead of here….ZOINKS and OUCH!).
But more importantly, what a wonderful new way to look at a picture that, while it makes me smile also makes me sad. My father is dead, the relationship with my mother is not likely to be repaired in this lifetime, my relationship with my brother is apparently completely dependent on the relationship I have with my sister and my sister and I have just mended fences after a long period of estrangement. I must admit that I can get weepy thinking about those things.
But to take that picture and use it as a way to look ahead. . .I love that perspective! When my father was dying and my sister and I were desperate for some kind of reassurance about what was going to happen to him, Tracy called a priest. He made no promises. What he said was something like this, “I know God, and what I know of God and of grace leads me to believe that God will take good care of your father. It will be in his own way, and in his own time. We can’t know what happens in his time. . . an instant may seem like an eternity or an eternity may seem like an instant, but God loves your father and your father will respond to that.” A UNIVERSALIST! I thought I might be the only one (well, not really, or there wouldn’t be a name for the belief system)!! And the thought that the next time I meet him we will have a PERFECT understanding of each other. . .we, who were always on each other’s side even when we had absolutely no idea why. . .to think of having his perfect understanding and perfectly understanding him! And my mother and I will finally understand each other, for real, not for the moments when I think I absolutely get her and then find out I don’t.
Later we found out that Dad did, at one time, regularly attend a church and was baptized, and from what we know of my Dad, we don’t believe he would have been baptized just to be cool or to make someone else happy, so I think even non-Universalists can rest a little easier about where he is now (or where he will end up when God has perfected him).
I know that my Universalism will horrify some of my readers, very likely including the one who inspired this entry. I am not asking you to go along with me, I am just shooting from the hip. I pray about this continually, that if I am totally off base, God will set me straight quickly. But there is scriptural reason to at least consider Universalism. Check this out if you’re interested in how I got here, and also this. I do not want to shatter your belief system, but I’d like you to understand mine.
Look, I’m a relatively young Christian. I could well be wrong. But I believe that God will make it clear to me if I am wrong. I also believe that he loves us all and that he would love it if we treated each other as if we are all so valuable that he will never part with us. That indeed, he loves us all so much that he will NOT be parted from us.
Sin and salvation…problems that are too big for human solutions. But they’re not too big for God.
Sleep well and let’s all pray for each other that we will know God and his will for us better every day. I’m looking forward to seeing you at the feast.