My one hand burrows into black soil, rolling clumps of dirt around like marbles. It spreads its fingers like wide veins tearing through solid ground. It follows the highway of weaving and winding cracks in the clay, memorizing its lines. This hand touches the earth and feels that it is good.
My other hand brushes the underbelly of space without time and place without boundary. It grazes the flesh of Love and shakes from vibrations of echoed hallelujahs. This hand is ever facing upward with fingers curled, ready to catch joy’s drips. It touches eternity and feels that it is good.
With one hand on earth and one hand in heaven, my arms spread wide like wings. This hanging, suspended between homes, stretches the flesh and rips the heart. But through the tearing, there is also a widening, a bridging of the gap, a coming together of the two worlds. Heaven and earth both call to me with a mother’s voice and a father’s pulse. Both know my name, and I whisper, “Yes.”
I could walk away, tuck my arms, ignore the calling. I could walk right through the gap that is life without the stretching and without the ripping. Few would notice, apart from my Soul-Maker and me. And I wonder if it would be easier if I placed both hands in the dirt, or raised both to heaven. I wonder if it would require less effort if I were to choose only that which is seen, or if it would hurt less if I were to respond only to that which is unseen. Perhaps it would be so.
But I know a Man who stretched out his arms. He placed his hand in the dirt and his hand in the cloud and walked with Perfect Love channeling through Him. I know a Man who embodied that tension, that love for both world and heaven. It was that Love that led Him to open His arms. It was that Love that sent Him to the cross. It was that Love that bore Him the ultimate stretch marks.
And I wonder if maybe this stretching, this reaching to touch both homes is my call as well, to love both the world and eternity. Perhaps it is only here, in the hard reaching to touch them both, that we find life that is full. Not easy. Not effortless. But full.
So stretch me. Spread my arms wide. Rip through the seams of a life that is easy to knit me together in a life that is full. Let me grab the earth and push it up while I cling to heaven to pull it down. And let me show the world my struggle to reach both places. Let me show my own wounds born of the ripping and my own marks born of the stretching. May this be my cross to bear.