Falling Up

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I am falling, falling.

It is neither hot not cold, I feel nothing. I see nothing.

Just falling, falling. Down, down, down…

I wake up. I am lying on my back in a field of wild grass. The smell of earth fills my nostrils. The air is warm, springlike. The sun is up, but not too hot. I am alone.

I stand up and dust myself off. Expectant, but not impatient.

He comes. I do not see Him, but I feel His presence drawing near.  I wait.

The Voice speaks. “Welcome, my son.”

My mouth quirks. “Hello. Father.”

The Voice smiles, though I still see nothing.  “Yes, I am your father.  And many other things, including your enemy.  But above all else, your father.”

I say nothing. There has been no question.  There is nothing to say.

The Voice grins.  “Come”, He says, and gestures without hands.

***

We stand on a cliff, looking up at the stars.  I do not see Him, but He is with me.

“Look up,” He says. I do.  The emptiness of infinity stares back at me. The ever-present darkness broken up by light of measure zero.

“It is not empty,” He says.  “It is full of light, and vacuum, and dust.”  Pause.  “As are you.”

I turn to Him.  I still do not see Him, but I know He is there.

“Why?” I ask simply.  I do not insist. I feel neither angry nor curious, hot nor cold.  But I must know.

“Because I love you,” He replies, just as simply.

I look back up at the stars.  “It seems a very cold love,” I reply, matter-of-factly.

“It certainly does seem that way,” He agrees reasonable.  “At least, from this point of view.”

The Voice gestures again.  “Lift up your eyes.”

***

Self-emptyingWe are in space.  It is not dark.  I can feel the light of a trillion trillion suns coursing through the vacuum around me.  It is warm and close, like a womb.

“I am here,” the Voice speaks from all around me.  “I have always been here. Even in your darkest hour.”

I nod. I am neither hot nor cold, angry nor fearful. I am comfortable.

“But if You are always so present, why does it look so empty?” I ask. Not demanding, not exasperated, not even curious.  But I must ask.

***

We are back in the meadow.  He turns to face me, though I cannot see His face.

“Because I love you.  If I filled all of space with my manifest presence, there would be no room for you. No room for you to love, to choose, to create, to hope and fear and pursue your own dreams.

“I am with you, Ernie. I have always been with you.  Even when all seemed dark, I was the darkness that enfolded you in My embrace.

“It is all a matter of perspective.”

I close my eyes.

***

I am falling, falling.

It is neither hot not cold, I feel nothing. I see nothing.

But from the edges of the universe, I sense an all-encompassing joy rush towards me at the speed of light.

Just falling, falling. Up, up, up…


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