STORIES OF MERCY

Dawn of Eternity

I woke completely disoriented, my cheek and nose planted firmly in the sand. Waves crashed upon the sandy shore, gently highlighted by dawn’s first light. That’s befuddling. I live nowhere near the beach and even further from any ocean. How had I gotten here?

Over the horizon a lone figure appeared, walking toward me, his feet caressed by wave after soft wave. I quickly washed the sand off my face and stood watch as he approached, hoping I might recognize him or he could at least tell me where I was and how I got here.

A sigh escaped me as the figure drew close enough for me to see them clearly in the early light. A stranger.

“Good morning,” I offered, a bit glumly.

“Good morning.”

“This is an odd question, but where are we?”

The stranger smiled. “The Dawn of Eternity.” He gazed around, taking in the beauty as if seeing it for the first time. “Sure looks to be a glorious day!”

“Uh, sure. Dawn of Eternity?”

“What’d you expect would happen when you died?”

“Dunno,” I muttered, too shocked to be more intelligent. Dead? Dead! “This is heaven?”

“Not just yet. Wait here for someone you recognize. They’ll help you out.”

“Oh. Oh kay. Thanks.”

The stranger smiled and continued on his way. I wondered who he was looking for. I shrugged and headed off the other way along the beach.

A woman popped into existence in the distance right before my eyes. One moment was empty sandy beach, the next she was laying in the sand, same as I had been. She was up, though confused, by the time I was close enough to see I didn’t know her either. I was just lifting my hand to wave when her eyes lit and she leapt into a run. Barely noticing me enough to not plow me over, she ran past me into the arms of her Beloved, who twirled round and round with her, kissed her deeply, and, wrapped in each others arms, ran down the beach where they disappeared into the distant mist. I stood and watched. Someone she recognized found her. Why not me?

I’ve been walking the beach all day, a day that never dawns. I’ve seen more reunions than I cared to count (I stopped counting some time ago at one-thousand nineteen).

I’ve seen that first stranger several times. We only glance at each other now, knowing we know as much about each other as we’re likely to. I hope someone I know comes along soon.

Notes:

We have control over one thing and one thing only in this life: our choices. Ultimately our choices coalesce into one decision: either “Yes!” to God’s offer of salvation and eternal, blissful union with Him, or “No.” If no, we still live eternally, but tormented to no end because we chose utter separation from God, our deepest desire. Are we choosing to say “Yes!” with every choice we make?

“I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me.” -John 10:14

When marriage is our path to holiness, Jesus our Christ comes to know us and we come to know Him most intimately through our Beloved Bride or Groom.

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Year of Mercy, Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs

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