I enjoy waking early, but rarely do much more with the stillness than accompany morning coffee with prayerful meditation. These are not moments for doing so much as being; reflection fuels the later doing. This winter morning I shove aside the sermon that insists on intruding and allow myself to settle on daydreaming about heaven. It feels somehow natural to think about death while peering through glazed windows at weighted skies and naked trees. A grey and barren horizon makes it suddenly a strain to remember warmth and light and green and hope, as recent as yesterday. What complicates such mornings for me is that considering the endlessness of days causes honest turmoil initiated by a barbed question– will life end with death? Although years ago as a youthful pastor I meticulously recorded funerals officiated in a massive blank-lined volume printed for such a purpose (perhaps thinking that by writing names in a book I might grant them immortality), I’ve long since lost count of how many times I’ve stood behind podiums and near coffins pronouncing hope that we are presiding not over an ending but endless beginning. Reciting dog-eared scriptures for the comfort of those lagging behind in the run to see Jesus, I deliver discourses on the eternal sincerely but always with a twinge of wonder. Can such platinum hope prove true? Will I one day blink my eyes in darkest death only to find myself transfigured? Is it possible that my own grey horizon might yield to light grander than anything I’ve read about or imagined? Don’t consider me a skeptic. Instead, number me in the company of those who cannot honestly declare we have no questions but journey with confidence that we are embraced by the Answer.