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Heaven Speaks. Does Earth Listen?


Today marks the 9-month anniversary since my husband Terry’s effortless passing through the often enigmatic earth-to-heaven veil.

I continue to be aware of his presence with me. At times his spirit is so thick that it envelops me in a blanket of omnipresent love and care. At other times his presence’s texture is light and airy, almost carefree and gleeful. But always it is ever-kind, understanding, wise, joyful and participatory—truly the expression of God in his highest self of the eternal soul.

Today, my almost-2-year-old grandson Carson was at my house eating lunch in his high chair and watching his Children’s Poetry DVD. He has two particularly special sections in the video: one, where two cows are swinging while singing an operatic aria to each other (I always sing along with them), and the other where a little boy is talking about the natural rhythm of poetry and how it sounds like “duh-dum-duh-dum-dum.” As the boy speaks these rhythmic syllables, I tap my heart while verbalizing the syllables with the boy. Carson always looks at me at these two distinct spots in the video, smiling slyly, and in the second example, tapping his heart as well. It is like a secret that the two of us share: two striking spots in the video that we both appreciate, relish, and especially enjoy.

Today, as Carson and I experienced this “secret” special time together, the thought flashed through my mind, “Terry, I know you love these moments just as much as I do, and if you were here, we would talk about them often with great happiness.” Instantly, I had another thought, this one so clear and distinct that I knew in my spirit that God through my husband—present in the great cloud of witnesses—offered a thought to me in response to my thought.

“Oh, yes, I love these moments and share them fully with you. But, you, Patty, in some ways get to experience them even more beautifully because you are still present in your earthly body. Savor each moment that you are on earth with Carson. Appreciate the earthly experience because it is profound and momentous, and offers dimensions that are unique from the heavenly experience. The heavenly outlook is stunning but different because there are no physical, mental, or emotional struggles present. That vantage point sounds preferable, but sometimes those struggles are the very parameters that ultimately give the deepest meaning to an event. I can view those struggles in their entirety now and realize the purposeful gift they are in the growth and development of our souls. Welcome the earthly experience and never take it for granted.”

This is not the first time since Terry’s passing that I have experienced this intricate blending of earth and eternity. I always find myself in the aftermath of these transcendent events amazed, breathless, speechless and motionless. It’s almost like my soul has briefly left my physical body behind and I am glimpsing the earthly event alongside Terry. Gradually my awareness moves back to my earthly body’s sensations. But always, I am changed. I have peeked through that heavenly veil and I am not the same.

There is nothing more beautiful than re-remembering that we are a part of something Bigger: Eternal Beauty, Wondrous Bliss, Marvelous Grace. God in all of God’s splendor bringing to us a world of infinite possibility. How we use our knowledge is up to us.

In the ancient words of St. Richard, Bishop of Chichester:

“Day by day, day by day,

O, dear Lord, three things I pray:

to see thee more clearly, love thee more dearly,

follow thee more nearly, day by day.”

Heaven Speaks. Does Earth Listen? We are a part of something Bigger.

The Experiment: You really can listen when heaven speaks. It’s actually not so hard. Give it a trial run this week and see what happens.

Silence Your Inner Critic: You’re not sure about this one. I hear you, but the effort is worth it. All it takes is a little willingness and a bit of courage. You’ve got both.

Rock Our World with Your Comments: What did you hear when you took the time to listen? Write your thoughts in a personal journal, discuss with a friend or family member, or post a comment below or on our Facebook page. We thrive and grow with your input!

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Comments (4)

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    Lou Ann


    Thank you for sharing Patty! The encouragement to silence the inner critic rings the bell of mindfulness and is like medicine for the earth! Truly this type of noticing occurs in stillness as silence fosters truth without words beyond understanding. Thank you for allowing this experience to settle into the marrow of our bones to articulate realization and oneness!


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      Patty Bilhartz


      I so agree. I have found in my life that stillness is where it’s at if I truly want to honor the commitment to build mindfulness in my life. I treasure your comment.


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    Mellicent Wiley


    I have had a few similar responses like you have had. They give me a relief to know I can say something to my husband sometimes and feel like he hears me and responds in his way.


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