By Ken Woodley
Jesus said the Kingdom of Heaven is near.
As close as you and I.
And as far away.
The social and political environment created by COVID-19 has amplified the voices of those who want to divide us according to such meaningless differences as race, gender, sexual identification, and theology.
Voices that deny our shared humanity, our brotherhood and sisterhood across any and every human-made border.
The egotistical thirst for power is generally behind the allegiance to divisive falsehoods and the desire to have them believed.
The pandemic also amplifies our own fears and that can make it harder to hold on to the truths that unite us.
It can keep “The Kingdom of Heaven” here on Earth, of which Jesus so often spoke, perpetually over a distant horizon and on the other side of an unending bend in our journey together.
As each day grows shorter here in the Northern Hemisphere, I strive to focus upon voices of light, healing and unity in diversity. And I thank God for servant leaders who look out at the world, rather than surrounding themselves with mirrors.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
What a profound statement. What a wondrous truth.
People from around the world read this blog. In dozens of countries. I am humbled and amazed. Your companionship keeps me going.
I am an American. You are Belgian, Ugandan, Chinese or one of so many other nationalities. But, most importantly, we are all children of a loving God.
And the Kingdom of Heaven, at least a small, vital seed of what it can become, is within each of us.
So, the Kingdom of Heaven is very, very near.
If we let it germinate. If we let it grow. If we seek and share its harvest.
We can begin by removing any barriers within us that might keep the “Kingdom of Heaven” from taking root in this world today.
Tearing down any “wall” that might stand between our compassion and those who need our healing touch.
A healing touch that might simply be a word finally spoken from deep behind the borders of our own heart.
We might not be able to change the world but we can certainly get the attention of the next person we meet. A simple smile and a kind word can go further than we think. Just consider how long a harsh word hurts. Sometimes for years.
Our world today is torn apart at so many seams. Our “stitch in time” can make a real difference for goodness.
Let’s not let the pandemic turn up the volume on voices of division.
Let’s use the environment created by COVID-19 to amplify our own voices of light and love, reaching out to each other, joining hearts and hands over and through every barrier.
Until every barrier is gone.
And only the Kingdom of Heaven remains.
By Ken Woodley