a heaven box

February 26, 2011

The thought of it was such a stunningly lovely one, even in its simplicity, that I smiled as I listened to her.  And when she had finished the thought, I warned her, “Jill, my dear, I’m afraid I’m going to just have to steal your idea.”  She kindly granted me permission to do so.

While walking one of our old routes, from when I had seen her last, just over two years ago, we were talking of our current struggles.  What she had been saying was that any time a particular longing or hurt just felt like too much to bear, she would picture herself packaging up that pain and putting it into her “heaven box.”  Knowing that life can be made up of so many things beyond us—things out of our control—it came as an assurance to Jill to rest in the knowledge that even if there will be no “solution,” or fulfillment, to a particular wish in this life, it will be fulfilled some day, when all is righted in the world . . . in our lives.

And this struck a beautiful chord in my own heart.  For the loss of hope is something I cannot bear.  But anticipation is something I am quite capable of—waiting, in expectation, is enough to sustain me through even the longest stretches of burden: those times when you just carry on in doing the work set before you in a determined, one-step-at-a-time sort of fashion,

So this morning, as I stood on the airstrip and hugged her goodbye [before yet another Zambian voyage], knowing that I may not see her again in the foreseeable future, I set that sadness aside and placed it into my own little “heaven box.”

This photo is one I snapped while we were on that walk.  It seemed fitting.


One Response to “a heaven box”

  1. Martin Smith said

    A lovely idea, Anna. This is something I might find helpful as I often find I’ve got too many burdens or disappointments wandering around my head. Maybe I’ll try the ‘heaven box’ as well!

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