Let’s explore the possibility that heaven is the utter opposite of hell. Of course, this premise requires that one believe in, and have some personal concept of, hell.

I suspect that one’s concept of hell is personal. Your concept and mine most likely differ on major and minor points. That’s just fine. The two need not agree. In fact, your concept may be that hell does not exist at all. That’s OK.

All I can do is write from my own concept. So, if you are willing, please extend me the liberty.

Hell, to me, is being separated from love and being united in eternity to separation and loss. Whether in this earthly life or in some life hereafter, hell is separation with the ability to see what might have been.

Yes, the Bible describes hell as a place of gnashing of teeth, darkness, coldness and absence of life. Well, this requires that one have a concept of life.

What is Life? To me, it is the opportunity to wreak good and happiness, healing, love, replication, and sacrifice for the benefit of other people or for a cause greater than one’s self.

So, in keeping with utter opposites, death is wreaking unhappiness, wounding, hatred, and selfishness. In a word, misery. The only common denominator is replication. One can replicate things that are negative or positive.

Regardless of what one believes, the imperative exists. Are you devoted to good and happiness, healing and love? If you are, why? If you are not, why not?

These are questions worth considering for self-illumination and actualization. I invite you to please share your thoughts on this blog. Thank you.

Old eyes tell no secrets.
The truth is for you to find out.
Long ago the way of the world was decoded
and no more starry eyed, breathless illusions survived.

All that is left is deep and infinite and blue — dark blue.
The darkest blue that leads to the source of life.

But only those who have let go can see it, hear it, feel it. . .
know its power to destroy and rebuild.

For after all the urges the glee the naivety the press of
physical energy and vitality have passed,
You are all that is left.
You and the vast, the true and the eternal source . . .

from whence you came, so many years ago.

– MGH, copyright 2012

This past weekend I attended the annual celebration banquet of a Bible class, the longest standing tradition of a 100-plus-year-old manufacturing company headquartered in Birmingham, Ala. Yes, odd as it may seem today, a YMCA branch hosted by the company organized the class in 1916 for employees who wanted to improve their reading and writing skills, and the Bible was used as the reading text. No longer a literacy class, the group has long since evolved into a Bible study fellowship.
Delivering the message for this 96th anniversary celebration was Pastor Cedric Sparks of 45th Street Baptist Church. What he said spoke to me because it challenged the usual assumptions of what makes a person successful in life. It’s not about position, or power, or amassing material possessions, or even “living the good life.” It’s about what you do with the grace God gives you to live your life. He closed with a poem by Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays (1894-1984). I took it as a challenge to pause and think about what really matters in the short space of time between life and death:

God’s Minute
I’ve only just a minute,
Only sixty seconds in it.
Forced upon me, can’t refuse it,
Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it,

But it’s up to me to use it.

I must suffer if I lose it,
Give an account if I abuse it,
Just a tiny little minute,
But eternity is in it.

Clock ticking. . . 3:07 a.m. Instead of sleeping, my brain is in rapid fire mode, spraying thoughts like bullets across the theater of my mind. Deeply troubled by so much pain and suffering everywhere, and how to make sense of it. How do we  find meaning in moment-by-moment existence in this world of ours.

Then it struck me. Start a blog.

This was July 19, 2012, less than 24 hours before the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado. 

This blog is not about me. It’s an exploration of life and what comes after. It is an invitation to the world to share: What gives your life meaning, and what do you believe will give it meaning after your time on earth is finished?

Although questions like these most often seem to arise in times of darkness, crisis and isolation, it is the exploration that will light our way.

So, what gives the seconds, minutes, days, weeks and years of your life meaning? For me, this morning, it was seeing a wild, brown, baby rabbit munching on a blade of grass. This was confirmation, to me, that life continues and nature gives birth to pure and innocent life each and every day. Tonight, meaning will come by cooking dinner with a friend who is going through a difficult time.

This blog is a challenge for us to see meaning in the moment and, hopefully, begin connecting these threads to something bigger, broader and maybe even eternal.

Please share, and follow the ground rules. Treat everyone with dignity and respect, no hating or flaming, nothing profane. Love your neighbor, no matter where they live on this spinning blue planet. Thank you.

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