Saturday, July 22, 2017
About a block from home, nearing the end of my daily walk, I notice four kids walking past the monastery, coming in my direction. Even from this distance I can hear Big Sister practicing a loud football cheer, as three year-old Little Sister jumps and hops along beside her. Behind them, teenage Older Brother bops down the street, with four year-old Tiny Brother taking quick little steps to keep up. They all stop at the corner of King Boulevard and Springfield, waiting for the green light, with Big Sister clearly in charge, even as she continues to practice urging on her invisible team a with loud, enthusiastic cheer. When the light changes, they start across King Boulevard.
Suddenly, for no apparent reason, Older Brother, who is halfway across, throws himself into a stunning cartwheel -- with arms and legs stretched perfectly straight, he is transformed, for two magical seconds, into a shiny spinning bicycle wheel. He finishes the cartwheel, and slips smoothly back into full walking stride, bopping to the other curb next to Tiny Brother, who doesn't seem the least bit surprised at his brother’s unorthodox way of crossing the street.
I burst into the widest smile ever, delighted with the surprise, and marveling at the carefree, spontaneous exuberance of Older Brother. If that’s how I felt when I saw the cartwheel, I can only imagine how God must have felt when he saw it, the Creator who gave him those supple arms and legs, and who filled his soul with dance music.
I imagine God's smiling as "King David and all of Israel" leaped and danced before the Lord in the procession of the Ark of the Covenant; and I imagine that same smile when, as Wisdom was helping God create the world, she danced before him.
I would like to think that in our day, God must still delight in watching every one of his children as we learn take our first steps, or learn to ride a bike, or learn how to solve algebra equations, or calm a colicky baby.
In the final chapters of the Book of Revelation, we learn that, at the end of time, all of creation will rejoice together, delighting and rejoicing before God’s presence. I can picture us all, people from every age and nation, shouting hymns of adoration, casting down our golden crowns around a sea of glass, bopping to celestial music in our heads, shouting cheers for invisible football teams -- and maybe even busting out into perfect, spontaneous, stunning cartwheels in the crosswalks of heaven.
Older brother in the crosswalk was just warming up for heaven.