The day started out with a lot of “dirt.” Earthy dirt. Dirty drips on my dusty garage floor led me to the dealership for an oil change and a possible “oil drip check up.” Well, they knew what I meant.
And while I sat and daydreamed next to this beauty, the mechanics did the dirty oily things under the hood of my car.
As I drove home, Son met me at my house, ready to do really dirty-earthy work. The stones around the edge of the pond are getting unstable, and I need a man’s creativity (and muscles) to do something about it. We made more plans for maintenance and planting around the house and went off to get tools and parts and flowers.
The nitty-gritty of everyday life. Sweat. Dirt under my fingernails. Elbow grease. Taking care of things “by the sweat of our brow.”
And then it was time to change gears.
I got all cleaned up, dressed in silky, swishy summer clothes, and I even got to wear a lacy veil. It’s Ascension Day, today, the day Christendom recognizes the ascension of Christ into Heaven.
Before me now it was all clean and white and golds and shiny silvery things. I stayed in the moment. I paid attention. I was so much in the moment that I really wasn’t anticipating what was going to happen.
And so it seemed that suddenly I was watching a silver candle snuffer coming down onto the beautiful Paschal candle that has been burning since Easter Sunday. The small soft flame at the top of the candle represents for us our Resurrected Christ walking among us for forty days.
And then it’s over. The little flame is gone. There is the little smoke of memory and the slight fragrance of snuffed out candle… but that’s all.
“He is not here. He has risen, as he said.” Quid statis aspicientes in coelum? (As I was doing, staring at the “empty” candle.)
Jesus is no longer here, with us, walking this same earth as we do.
Yes, of course He’s “here.” He’s here in Holy Communion. He’s here in the Tabernacles. He’s here within us, our hearts His temple.
But He’s no longer here walking on the earth, as we still must do. We can no longer touch His robes, hear His voice.
But then — suddenly it will seem — we’ll have ahead of us the clean white golds and shining silvery life for us in Heaven. As Christians have heard the words for almost two thousand years: ...sic veniet, quemadmodum… “This same Jesus, in like manner, will return.”
We are creatures of this earth made alive by His spirit.
Earth and Heaven!