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Point of View: A Great Awakening?

Wed, 06/24/2020 - 19:09

When Mary said we were already in heaven, our backyard providing ample evidence that it exists, I said Emily Dickinson had said something similar in some of her poems.

    Some keep the Sabbath going to Church —
    I keep it, staying at Home —
    With a Bobolink for a Chorister —
    And an Orchard [oak trees in our case] for a Dome —

And there’s “Heaven has different Signs — to me,” which goes on to cite the dawn, the orchard, the Triumph of the Birds, and the Rapture of a finished day as being hard to beat.

“In the name of the Bee — And of the Butterfly — And of the Breeze — Amen!”

All by way of saying that if we sense at times that heaven is here and now, then it is just as true, as we have seen and continue to see, hell is too, and while it’s wise by and large to let nature be, souls that are twisted by prejudice can stand a lot of pruning — so that everyone can grow.

Comparisons have been made to the ’60s, a period in which burgeoning ideas flourished, and then seemingly withered as time went on. It seems those ideas, which, had Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy lived, could well have lifted this country up, are about to be resurrected now, though unspeakable evils have engendered them.

It seems we’re on the verge of another Great Awakening, though perhaps, in contrast to the one that swept through New England almost 300 years ago, as a result of this one we’ll form a more personal connection with our fellow human beings than with God.

“A people who began a national life inspired by a vision of a society of brotherhood can redeem itself,” Dr. King wrote in “Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?” But, he added, “redemption can come only through a humble acknowledgement of guilt and an honest knowledge of self.”

That through self-examination and through communal effort we can be redeemed, even at this late date, is welcome news. Heaven ought to be in everyone’s backyard.

“In the name of the Bee — And of the Butterfly — And of the Breeze — Amen!”

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