When Heaven and Earth Kiss

Church gave me a lot of things to think about yesterday. During the sermon, the pastor talked about being in God’s will. He used an umbrella as an illustration. If you stay under the umbrella when it’s raining, you’re protected. And if you don’t, well…you know.

Anyway, he used an illustration about prayer during the course of the sermon that has been stuck in my mind ever since. I believe he said that rabbis used to say that prayer was when heaven and earth kissed.

Think about that. How intimate a connection is it?

I really am probably not the best pray-er in the world. In fact, if you read my blog at all, you know that some of my petitions go toward heaven with my claw marks on them. But I do keep going back.   I do try to let go, and I do believe that God honors what I mean by the prayer instead of necessarily what I say.

Let me give you an example. Eleven years ago, my mother died of a degeneration of the brain stem. Toward the end she was pretty sick, and I would go in and stay with her so that my dad could go to church. That last Sunday, I had already kissed her good-bye, but the way she looked at me from her chair as I said good-bye to my dad made me go back and kiss her again. Turns out that was the last kiss I gave her.

On my way home, I told God that I knew how sick she was. And I knew how much she was suffering. And I was ready to let her go. Funny. I still remember how peaceful I felt after that conversation.

And the next day, I still felt peaceful. I called to see how she was, but I did that every day. And then I went back to school, where I had to talk to a group of parents. Still no worry.

When I got home, my dad called. He wouldn’t tell me what had happened, but I knew. Sort of. And all the way back to the city,a forty-five minute drive, I told God I hadn’ t meant what I had said. That I didn’t want to let Mom go. Please.

My husband let me off at the hospital door and went to park the car. When the ER personnel figured out who I was, they wanted me to go to a waiting room, but I told them that I would wait for my husband. I figured if Mom was still on this earth, they would have taken me to her. And that peace descended again. She was gone. But she was in a better place.

Now I’m not going to say that I didn’t miss my mom. I still miss her. But I believe that God took her at exactly the right time, and that the peace which I felt at her passing came about because of that heavenly “kiss.” God heard what I meant the day before Mom died. And He knew I still meant it even though I wanted to take it back on the way to the hospital.

I’m sure God hears what I mean in hundreds of my prayers. After all, He knows my inmost being. And I am comforted to know that the frail, tongue-tied pray-er that I am in church and even on my own, is not all that He sees. I knew that before, I think. But I never really thought about it in quite that way. Like a kiss.

So the pastor’s sermon did me good. I didn’t tell him that on Sunday, but I may Wednesday. The image of my Father’s bending down to kiss my brow as I stutter out my concerns is something that I hope will not soon leave me.

And it surely does make me feel loved.

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March 2007
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