What Lies Beyond the Window

June 1, 2010
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When I was in fourth grade, barely old enough to understand most of the world, a soft hand, calloused and rough in the centers, lifted me up into a well-lighted room. It’s clean and sweet-smelling, like a gentle rain in the early spring, and it seems like a every sound can be heard in this small room. The four walls make a square, sheltering me from the outside world.
On one side of the room, there is a table and two wooden chairs, made of solid wood. The chairs never creak.
They sit across from each other, and one chair is always occupied. The other, my own chair is only sometimes. Sometimes, when I can feel the sun shining outside the room, heating up the floor, I get restless and pace, ignoring the chair that never squeaks, where the chair across is always occupied.
But every once in awhile, the sun stops shining. Thunderstorms rage outside the room, and the boards and shingles are sometimes shaken, but the frame remains quiet and peaceful, as the other chair whispers to be still and know. The frame of the house is never shaken, and I never leave the house. When the rain comes down, my pacing stops. In my fear, I go to the quiet chair across form one that will always be occupied. We sit and talk, and as I listen, my fears melt away, a light on the water drifting away slowly into the night. We sit and talk, sometimes saying nothing at all, the storm raging on around us. I hear the shingles rattling around me, but water never drips into the room. I feel the cold from the clouds and the wind, but the room and conversation makes me forget and keeps me warm.
When the storm clears, I look out the window on the other side of the room. I can see a rainbow and blue skies, stretching on into the west, across the distant shore. I see small glimpses of the paradise outside of the door, the paradise that awaits me, says the person in the seat that will always be occupied. On the horizon, I can see an endless white, calling me home. But the person in the other chair makes me wait to leave the room, and we continue talking.
One day, when days and nights aren’t counted anymore, the chair across from me is no longer occupied. The person from the chair stands waiting at the door to the room, calling me to Him. I leave my chair, which still stands silently, never making a sound. I walk to Him, and He takes my hand, soft but calloused and rough in the centers.
He opens the door and I am met with white light. Light so bright, I want to close my eyes. But He holds my hand, and leads me forward into the blindness. Beneath my feet, there’s wood. Rough and sharp, it hurts my gentle feet, but He continues to lead me forward. I step down and the wood hurts my toes. I step down again, blind from the light, and the wood hurts my heels. Once more I step down, and splinters drive into the bottom of my feet, and I want to run back into the room, but He still leads me forward.
And in a flash, I feel sand. Soft, warm sand, that digs the splinters out and makes my skin as soft as it was when I was first born. The hands still hold mine as my eyes adjust to the blinding light, and I open my eyes to the sight before me.
White shores.
Rolling back into the farthest reaches of the horizon of the west, as far as I can imagine, I see snow-white shores and clear water rolling up the beach, tickling my feet. The sun shines on my face, but never burns. The water is warm, and the breeze moves my hair softly, and everything has a feeling of warmth that can never be taken away.
I look to my side, and the hands are still holding mine, and the seat is no longer occupied. Instead, He walks by my side, and I can touch Him. I can feel the smoothness of His hands and the holes in the center where it’s calloused and rough. And my heart is at peace.
The rain never comes to the white shores, and the warmth never fades. The hands never let me go, and there are two sets of footprints in the sand, receding into the west, joining the ones who came before me at the beginning and end of the horizon.

Psalm 46:10
Be still, and know that I am God.

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