“Anne sat in a pain that was almost intolerable. She could not tell comforting falsehoods; and all that Ruby said was so horribly true. She WAS leaving everything she cared for. She had laid up her treasures on earth only; she had lived solely for the little things of life -- the things that pass -- forgetting the great things that go onward into eternity, bridging the gulf between the two lives and making of death a mere passing from one dwelling to the other -- from twilight to unclouded day.”
The reader’s question: “I would love to hear comments on what this looks like. How do we do this? Also, how can we be sure we are not, especially as homeschooling mothers, making an idol of our children and families, so much so that we hold on to them so tightly for fear of losing them. I don't fear death in that I know I will be with the Lord, but I am saddened to think of those that are left behind. Especially when there is an "untimely" death. … How can we live with Heaven in mind while here on Earth, and how do we impart this eternal thinking to our children?”
This is a question requiring an answer that goes beyond religion or creed. Humans like something tangible. We like theologies, systems and labels. We want something measurable to gauge our child’s spiritual progress so we teach our children the ‘catechism’, fill their heads with biblical knowledge, and have them memorize scriptures. But none of this will guarantee a heavenly-minded heart. They are but outward forms, instruments to help one along the path. If relied upon too heavily, history has revealed that those very tools create Pharisees or even worse, atheists—skeptics, who, as C.S. Lewis’ Aslan described in THE LAST BATTLE, “Their prison is only in their minds, yet they are in that prison and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.” We must realize that Material cannot form the Spiritual.
So how do we impart the Spiritual? We cannot impart what we do not have so we must begin with ourselves. If we cannot answer the following questions in the affirmative, then we must seek such revelation with all our heart. Do we believe Him when He states over and over again that He loves us with an everlasting love? Or is it mental assent? If we truly believe that we have a perfect lover who will never leave us and hurt us without a cause, then we will respond in kind. We will long to get to know Him deeply, to be near Him, to share every secret with Him and ask for His counsel. We will spend our days and nights thinking of Him. We will yearn to see His face. Our life will revolve around pleasing Him, because we have learned that He is the perfect, benevolent King. Our heart will skip a beat when He speaks our name. (And He DOES speak YOUR name.) We will no longer fear for our loved ones if we are taken before them, knowing that we did our best and now their Perfect Father, Who loves them so much more than we ever could, will finish the task. It’s not that we don’t love our children enough; it’s just that we love Him more. We begin to find that earth’s pleasures leave us unsatisfied and they begin to fade, while heaven’s light seems to glow behind a thinner shroud.
If we love Him this much, then we will not be able to stop ourselves from speaking of Him with great feeling to our children throughout the day. We will often recall the good gifts He has blessed us with, we will speak of the wonders He has wrought in creation and His many miracles through the ages. When we fail, we will thank Him for His mercy and forgiveness and then do the same for our little ones. We will continually compare Him with the kings of the earth and brag of His surpassing greatness. Our children will see us spontaneously worship with a full heart. We will often speak of heaven with yearning in our eyes, not because of that beautiful mansion we want, but because the King lives there and we will finally see His face and be near Him.
And then, one day…we catch a glimpse of Love’s mist in our own dear children’s eyes.
one step at a time...