“And now men see not the bright light which is in the clouds: but the wind passeth, and cleanseth them.” Job 37:21
If we could see the clouds from the other side where they lie in billowy glory, bathed in the light they intercept, like heaped ranges of Alps, we should be amazed at their splendid magnificence. We look at their under side; but who shall describe the bright light that bathes their summits and searches their valleys and is reflected from every pinnacle of their expanse? Is not every drop drinking in health-giving qualities, which it will carry to the earth?
O child of God! If you could see your sorrows and troubles from the other side; if instead of looking up at them from earth, you would look down on them from the heavenly places where you sit with Christ; if you knew how they are reflecting in prismatic beauty before the gaze of Heaven, the bright light of Christ’s face, you would be content that they should cast their deep shadows over the mountain slopes of existence. Only remember that clouds are always moving and passing before God’s cleansing wind. (Streams in the Desert)
More often than not these days, I look around a room and recognize I am the oldest person present. Like it or not, I have embarked upon my senior years. As such, I find it increasingly difficult to relish the moment without allowing a creeping remorse that the moment may never be repeated. Call it nostalgia. Call it faithless. Call it ridiculous; but it is, nonetheless, real. The uptick is that I am gradually learning to value each moment in light of eternity.
Sipping morning coffee while watching birds carry out their own routine is simple pleasure. The sound of my wife in the kitchen calms my soul and whispers all is right in my world. Walking across rocks in tennis shoes is grace. Atop our breakfast table, a clothing catalogue cover boasts: “Discover your summer sanctuary.” Home is sanctuary. Holy moments and sacred space bathed in ordinary glory surround me. The simple joy of deep breathing morning air tinged with the hint of distant rain, looking into loving eyes, and lilting melody of a grandchild’s chuckle, is like looking down on clouds. I am beginning to understand why the elderly weep so easily. The nearer I get to Glory, the clearer I recognize Sacred Presence in the string of seemingly unexceptional moments that define here and now.