It was an unusual building. There were no obvious windows to let the light in. It was, by all traditional signage, unmarked. Except for the darkened, grime-encrusted portals on the automatic steep elevator doors, it was dark. One of the two automatic gates was missing the arm to keep cars out. As I walked through the visibly neglected alley, everything looked as if it had been broken and abandoned.
I stopped in front of Auto Garage H, wondering if I was looking at heaven or hell. The stillness of the hot dusty afternoon gave no hint of the answer. There was no indication that anyone had used the parking space in recent times. Were they relevant or simply forgotten?
As I consider the day ahead, I find myself reflecting on the person in the mirror. I know too much, giving credence to the question of heaven or hell. The question of relevancy looms large. Even in my doubt, I can hear life whisper reminding me of hope and belonging.
One is never forgotten, simply because you and I are children of Divinity. Even with extremes, it does not change. Paul’s response remains relevant; “Does this mean, then, that God is so fed up with Israel that he’ll have nothing more to do with them? Hardly. Remember that I, the one writing these things, am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham out of the tribe of Benjamin. You can’t get much more Semitic than that!” (Romans 11.1)
Grime does not change the reality that one can act with kindness, care, and compassion in the moment. With Divinity’s presence within us, we have the freedom to gift others with respect, acceptance, and our time. I find restoration comes with my choice to make a difference. In the larger story, even in my uncared state, Divinity is willing to collaborate with me, opening the door to hope and possibilities.
As much as life may feel like hell, heaven is realised with each experience of compassion, belonging, and love. Divinity offers these gifts freely. I will choose what comes next.