We can learn a lot about the Kingdom of Heaven from our spouses or significant others, and we can learn a lot about the Kingdom from children too.
In marriage and close relationships we learn about the extraordinary power of a deep deep love which touches every aspect of our lives. And the truly awesome ting is that this is only a faint foreshadowing of what awaits us in heaven. I’ve had moments of love when I felt that if I get one more drop of love my body would blow up and that’s probably why we don’t have bodies in heaven, because we wouldn’t be able to hold it all in.
In marriage and love we also learn the necessity of forgiveness in order to grow in love and fully experience the Kingdom while here on earth. In every wedding homily, I always include these three sentences: “Your vocation as a married couple is to prepare the way for the change God wants to bring to each of you as individuals to you as a couple to our world through you. You do this by listening, supporting, forgiving, sharing, forgiving, challenging gently, forgiving and then forgiving some more. I focus on forgiveness because a truly happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”
And then we have the children, God love them all. Though I know not every child has a simple, uncomplicated life, I hope all children can experience the wonder and joy that is a part of growing up. Children live in the moment. They experience joy in running down a hill or jumping in a puddle. The world is new every day and holds a surprise around every corner. Have you ever taken a toddler on a walk around the block? Who knew everything could be so interesting? A flower here. A little wall to climb up there. A stick that can be waved around. An ant scurrying across the pavement that needs close inspection. And there, across the street it’s a dog. What a walk!
Life can be so complicated and hectic at times. Perhaps taking a walk around the block or through the woods with our beloved or with a child can calm us down and open us to the sense of joy and wonder which God so much wants us to have.
Love deeply, walk joyfully!