One of my favorite movies is "A Walk to Remember." Have you seen it? I love the life lessons it teaches about Redemption, love, and grace. However, my favorite scene involves the leading young man's attempt to impress his lady by helping her accomplish an item on her bucket list. The two are driving at night when he suddenly stops the car. He leads her by the hand into the middle of the road, asking her to straddle the state line. She looks at him quizzically, and he announces: "You are in two places at once!" She bubbles over with adoring amazement. She checked an item off her bucket list!
Her reaction was priceless! I don't think she expected this bucket list item to be fulfilled but rather listed it as a whim. Her utter shock, surprise, and laughter came from realizing that she could actually be in two places at once.
Being in two places at once.
Imagine what that could look like for you and me. The movie characters straddled the line between two states. We straddle the line between heaven and earth. There are times when I've no doubt I am in the presence of the Lord. I sit with a cup of coffee in peace with my surroundings, listening to the birds' chatter, smelling the pine, and hearing a crackle in the fire pit. God's creation envelopes me.
Other times, I am utterly depleted. A son lost in his addiction; Chronic pain that vacillates from the background to the forefront. Perhaps you have a lack of confidence that lingers from childhood trauma. Maybe your marriage is collapsing, and trust is disintegrating. We have experienced worldwide upheaval, violence and, mayhem persisting in our streets. The future is uncertain. Life on earth has failed us, and we are crying out to God asking: "Why?"
How do we live in reality and embrace the living Christ?
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 (NIV)
This truth tells us we will straddle the line. The trouble is, the line is often blurry and hard to see. Where does earthly time and space end, and heavenly grace and mercy begin?
In the tough spots, I often run, in search of the line, and I confess; I cannot find it. I dwell in a state of despair, grief, confusion, frustration, and loneliness. My expectation never travels beyond the idea that this life is all there is or ever will be.
Can you relate? Are you stuck with one foot on this side of the earth, losing sight of the brilliance just a step away?
...we are led by the hand and shown the line—the place where we can be in two places at once. For instance, I am physically here on earth, in Arizona. I am a wife, mother, business owner, blogger, and friend. I have disappointments, longings, and fears on this side of heaven.
On the other side...
I have peace.
My lack of expectations meets with the certainty of Christ, who shows me that it is possible to be in two places at once.
In Mathew 16:19, Jesus tells His disciples, "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
I sit, finishing my coffee in the early morning. It's chilly. The air is crisp and freshly filled with the aroma of pine. There is a breeze, and the geese are flying overhead. I bow my head with thanks that Christ gave me the keys to heaven. I can invite any and everyone in, whenever I like...whenever I am willing.
I wave as my neighbors walk by, asking about their families. I share condolences over the loss of one's parent and listen with empathy to a sorrowful mother concerned for her child. I rejoice with those that find peace and enjoyment in the beauty of creation that surrounds us. We share memories that bind us. I realize that when we visit with and encourage one another, we have used the keys and gained entrance.
It's like finding a bit of heaven on earth.
Again, the breeze lands on my face. A bee sits upon a fragrant petal. A lovely neighbor waves up a cheery 'Good Morning!' A lightness of heart settles upon me, and I breathe deep.
It is possible to be two places at once!