It’s true. For those who have separated themselves from the source of all life, how can it be anything else? They are like young branches on an ancient tree. They are given life, they stretch, they grow, they flourish, they battle the elements, and they grow strong. They are proud of their great vigor, their persistence against the wind, the rain, the snow, the icy grip of winter. They become so delighted with themselves they assume they are the sole source of their strength, their accomplishment, their life. They lose awareness of the roots that provide them nourishment, the trunk that supports them, and the sun that gives them light. Until one day, whether by the act of a malicious hand or through the randomness of fate, one of them is severed from the tree.
Afraid and not understanding what’s happening, the branch is tossed about by the wind before eventually coming to rest on the unfamiliar ground, a great distance from where it once played among the clouds. Separated from its source, the leaves begin to wither, the bark dries up until finally the branch shrivels in upon itself, wondering what it did to bring this calamity upon itself. Eventually it is tossed upon the fire, or shredded for mulch. The life it once knew and reveled in is over, never to be reclaimed.
So too for those who have separated themselves from their source, assuming they are the cause of their life, the singular foundation of their nourishment and support and growth. When they fall upon hard times or the random sword of fate strikes, they wonder what they did to deserve such a curse. Separated from their origin they fall victim to fear, to depression, and to death.
Because they believe they are alone…they are alone. Because they believe heaven is a myth, it is. Ironically though, hell is not a myth for them. In their separation from the source of all life they have condemned themselves to death, and to hell. For what is hell but the conviction there is no God?
God does not sit on a fiery throne in heaven judging His children. He does not exile His children from His side. We flee from Him. In doing so, we condemn ourselves to the darkness of doubt and separation, to the conviction we are alone, to the myth there is no heaven, but somehow there is still a hell.
Heaven is not a place up in the clouds where the angels float around making music on their golden harps. Heaven is found in our communion with the sacred will of our Father. In knowing His love for us will never fail. In knowing there is no death. Like God, life is eternal, ever stretching, growing, and testing itself against the elements. And like the branch that fell from the tree we only experience death when we equate life itself with the life we have today, or the one we once knew.
Life cannot be frozen in time. Life, like angels, like heaven, like God, exists beyond the constraints of time and space. Since for the moment we are trapped within both, let us not forget our source and condemn ourselves to the myths of both death and hell.