c.s. lewis once wrote about the fact that everyone has this feeling of longing towards something, and whether we realize it or not, that is our longing towards heaven and being connected to god. i cannot speak for everyone, obviously, but i know that i have that feeling. whether it regards heaven and god, as lewis postulates, i have not yet decided, but in my born-again christian days, that's how i interpreted it. long before i even read lewis.
at times that feeling would grow stronger. it seemed like i could touch what i was aiming at, but that only intensified the desire. this would happen whenever i got out of the city and into a pastoral setting, or while being alone on incredibly sunny days, or listening to certain songs (christian or otherwise), or being with certain kinds of people.
now that i am technically not a christian, or at least the kind i used to be, i don't know how to channel that feeling. i no longer look at it as, "yay, i'm going to heaven someday." it's just a feeling that i don't know will ever be fulfilled. if true love and having a good job and having amazing friends and all that hasn't yet fulfilled it, what ever could, short of something supernatural and miraculous?
and it is interesting to me that i am still deeply touched by certain christian "stuff." i had to read excerpts from john bunyan's "the pilgrim's progress" last night for brit lit. i had read the book years ago, as a christian, and while growing up, my mother used to show us the cartoon version of it. the story is a huge part of me. so i was reading and i read the lines that have always gotten to me more than any other. hopeful says to christian,
see, christian is swimming in the river of death, trying to get to heaven, but it is too scary for him and he thinks he is drowning. yet when hopeful gives him this reminder, he is able to do it, and he makes it to the celestial city.
"Be of good cheer,
Jesus Christ maketh thee whole."
that line is so beautiful i can't stand it.
more to come on this in part two.