Two People Happened to Be Sitting at a Park Bench

 

August 20, 2018.  Monday

She was trying to flirt with him but he wasn’t catching on; so, in a bit of exasperation she said, “What’s the matter with you? Don’t you even know the score?”

To which he replied, “Those who are so focused on the score can’t even see reality because they’re only playing games.”

“What game?” she asked him.

“The game of love,” he replied.

“Well, if you don’t even believe in love then what do you believe in?” she inquired.

“I believe in Eternity. And if you’re interested, come back later and we’ll talk about it; if you have the Time.”

“If I have the time . . .  to talk about Eternity?” she repeated, amused.

“Yes.”

“Yes, what?”

“Let’s not get side-tracked about what.”

“Why not?”

“Eternity is to be the subject of our future conversation; not what nor why not.”

***

Later . . .  she came back.

“OK, I’m back to resume our conversation about Eternity. Just don’t waste my Time . . . “

“Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it; but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. Its thin current slides away, but eternity remains.” ― Henry David Thoreau, Walden.

“Who is Henry David Thoreau?” she asked.

“He is an American author of the 19th century.”

“And why should I ponder anything he wrote?”

“Don’t you want to have a conversation about Eternity?”

“Well, I have a notion that such a conversation might go on forever. I don’t have that much time.”

“How much time do you have? And what do you want to do with time?”

“Honestly, I really don’t exactly know how much time I have; nor what I want to do with it.”

“Well, your honesty is actually a very good place to start considering this matter and any matter, as a matter of fact; for without honesty there can be no understanding.”

“I agree with you on that point. By the way, may I ask your name?”

“Yes. My name is August.”

“And what is your last name, August?”

“My last name is Dawn.”

“August Dawn. I like that name. It sounds a bit beyond the ordinary.”

“Do you by any chance have a middle name, August?”

“Yes. Deepening”

“Your full name, then, is August Deepening Dawn?”

“It is. And what is your name, please?”

“My name is April. April Shower.”

“And do you have a middle name April Shower?”

“Yes. My middle name is Light. April Light Shower is my full name.”

“That is a beautiful name.”

“I’m having another notion . . .  that this conversation could turn into something beautiful.”

“Perhaps we could spend Eternity discussing the beauty of conversation.”

“And what is so beautiful about conversation?”

“If it is conducted in Love the two participants graciously find themselves in Eternity as a gift from God.”

“How so?”

“This is how so: Love never ends[1]. So, those who are in Love are in something Eternal.”

“And what is that something Eternal?”

“It is God, Who is Love and Light and Spirit.” (See 1John 4:7, 8, 16; 1John 1:5; John 4:24).

“August, you are definitely beyond the ordinary.”

“And you are as refreshing as a light rain to those who dare to walk through an April shower, Love.”

“August, I don’t know exactly what it is yet; but something is about to dawn on all of us. And it is going to deeply affect us.”

“The kingdom of God is coming, April.”[2]

“And what can we do about its advent, August?”

“Receive it like a young child, April.”[3]

“And how can we recognize its coming, August?”

“Whenever you hear or read the gospel concerning Jesus Christ, April, understand and believe that “the kingdom of God is at hand” as Jesus said in Mark 1:14-15.”

“And then, what, August?”

“Keep reading and listening and understanding and believing the gospel. And in that way you will continue to grow as the seed of God’s Word is planted in your heart and gradually matures; as you nurture it like a good mother nurtures her baby. And thus, Christ our Lord Jesus will grow up in you; just as He grew up, beginning at His birth, on that “Silent Night” and was lovingly cared for by His mother Mary. You also, April, can be the baby Jesus’ mother. And as He grows up in you, you also will grow up in Him, Christ the Lord of glory. And you, too, will eventually be glorified in Him.”

April: “August . . . ”

August: “Yes, April?”

April: “I would like to kiss you, my friend.”

August: “Are you sure you have Time for that, April?”

April: “Well, August, if I don’t have Time then I’ll make time.”

August: “April, you want to make Time with me?”

April: “Yes . . . I do, August.”

August: “Alright, April. Kiss me.”

April kisses August.

August: “You kiss very lightly, April.”

April: “And how do you kiss, August?”

August: “Deeply.”

April: “How deeply do you kiss, August?”

August: “As deep as Eternity, April.”

April: “And how deep is Eternity, August?”

August: “It cannot be measured by man.”

April: “How then is it to be measured, August?”

August: “Only God can fathom such things.”

And then April “heard” something in her heart:

[ “Eternity is as deep and wide as Infinity.” ] And she wondered where that came from.

And then she remembered a children’s song: “Deep and Wide.”

And then she wondered where these thoughts were coming from.

And then she remembered Jesus telling his disciples:

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, ‘But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?’ Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. Come now; let us leave.” -John 14:15-31 NIV Study Bible.

And as April was listening in her heart to these reminiscences of God’s Word to her she was also reminded of this that our Lord had said:

“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ And he called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 18:1-4 NIV Study Bible.

 

And April pondered all this in her heart and was wondering how she could truly become childlike. And the Holy Spirit reminded her of something else that Jesus had said in a conversation He had with Nicodemus:

“Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.” In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.” “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony. I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe me; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” -John 3:1-21 NIV Study Bible.

 

 

[1] 1 Corinthians 13:8a ESV Study Bible.

[2] see Mark 1:15;

[3] Luke 18:15-17 ESV Study Bible.

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