If You Hanker

If you hanker for

a zenith of felicity

on the bed of the Divine

begin by dusting off

the wings of wonder

on your local pillow

Lift your ineffable

out of the mundane

Aim for airborne

with the eye of the heart

as your sky pilot

and soar to glory

Poet James Broughton uses lofty language to convey a very down-to-earth message; if we want to experience the height of joy that is oneness with the Divine, don’t overlook life in the here and now. In the midst of the mundane, in the places where we live and work, in the people we encounter every day, here on our “local pillow,” lies the ineffable mystery for which ‘God’ is a word.

We may have to do some dusting off to discover the glory of which Broughton writes. We may have to look through different eyes than the ones we’ve used all our life. We may have to rethink our understanding of creation in order to glimpse the great truth – that for which we hanker is here. Heaven, Henry David Thoreau has said, is under our feet as well as over our head.

It takes some doing to see and appreciate the divinity of our life in the world. It is nothing less than radical to affirm wonder beneath the injustice and cruelty, the tragedy and travesty that too often characterize our existence. But without denying life’s harsh realities, is it not amazing that seeds of new life often follow in the footsteps of death, that compassion rises up to meet suffering, and that despair, in time, can give way to hope?

Experiencing “a zenith of felicity on the bed of the Divine” need not wait until the world is perfect, or until we are no longer a part of it, for there is wonder aplenty on our “local pillow.” If we look “with the eye of the heart” we can “soar to glory” even while our feet are on the ground.


2 thoughts on “If You Hanker

  1. I sometimes find it difficult, with my everyday eyes, to see his glory. Then when I least expect it, it comes to me in the glimpse in the form of a parent and child sharing a moment. The flash of a wing over the river. Like you had told my father when we were very young. Church can be anywhere. We attend weekly but I have always carried that lesson.


    1. Vince, I appreciate your thoughtful comment. I’m pleased to know you experience “glory” from time to time, and in such simple, ordinary ways. I still believe Church can be anywhere, and that God by whatever name is the essence of everyone and everything. I hope all is well with your family, that our paths will cross soon, and that you have a great birthday.


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