To Infinity and Beyond! I know, I keep using that phrase…Thank you Buzz Lightyear

Eternity is not infinity.

It is not a long time.

It does not begin at the end of time.

It does not run parallel to time.

In its entirety it always was.

In its entirety it will always be.

It is entirely present always.

Wendall Berry

p. 47 Leavings, Poems

We have a six-year-old sassafras. Her name is Emily. Whenever my wife or I tell her we love her she one-ups us. The other night when I tucked her in I said I loved her she fired back “I love you more!”  How can a little tart exude such power over my heart? She also responded “I love you to the moon and back!” many times. But the reverberation that catches my mind and heart is:

“I love you infinity!”

Followed by

“I love you infinity, infinity, infinity!”

Really? Wow! This little pip-squeak set in time, my time, to blow my mind and detonate my heart. In my estimation that equals a thousand of Ann Voskamp’s gifts. I am grateful.

Buzz Lightyear, from the Pixar movie Toy Story, embossed my frontal cortex a while ago with his intellectually suicidal statement:

“To infinity…and beyond!”

I was talking to a friend recently about the infinitesimal real estate us humans can inhabit. Think about it. Only 29% of the earth is land. Humans can merely ascend so high before running out of oxygen. We can only dive so deep before the pressure wrings us like a rag. We are walled in. We are essentially tucked in a linen closet of the universe. Why?

Dear God,

I don’t want to be unthankful, but why are we so fenced in? Is it because we couldn’t handle a little gardening? Is it because we are in time out?

Sincerely, Jerry

Dear Jerry,

My ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts. Do you want me to start the “where were you when the foundations of the earth were laid” speech? Listen, the uninhabitable vast spaces are there to keep you wondering about Me, like you are presently. Simply look at these areas as room to grow acreage. Seriously, I didn’t hem in the universe so you would consider that there is always room to grow. I put bright and colorful creatures in the deepest, darkest places of the ocean so you would ponder my intention. So you might ask Me why I splash shadows with frivolous bright colors for no human to see. You will never be satisfied on earth just like that C. S. Lewis thought that has wrinkled your brain. You are ultimately made for another world. Although the world is busted up, I have given you the sense to take in what I have revealed thus far with awe and gratitude. There are gifts, way more than a thousand, but you can start counting and thanking. I like that.

About that little tart of yours, I dare you to love her back…infinity, infinity, infinity.

I love you…infinity,



Salt water was on tap.  That was yesterday.  I dragged a trailer around town transferring the material world of my mother and daughter.  My mother is about to move into assisted living.  My oldest daughter moved out, again.  For my mother it will be the final assist before she goes on to a more permanent place where no assistance will be needed.  Dependence in the freedom of perfect Love will be her stay.

I saw a lot of my siblings as we moved stuff.  One sister underlined, with a slight shake in her voice, “How does one measure a life…really?”  She is the one who has been compiling information about our family tree.  She has been finding branches and leaves and bits of bark of family that have been long forgotten (or never known).  Her question probably was in the glove compartment of all our minds as we all pitched in.

I thought (no offense to my siblings), who are all these aged people helping move toiletries and chairs and giraffe figurines?  I noticed for the first time just last week skin dangling underneath my chin.  It was as if we were loading time into a cargo trailer only to find dust on it when we emptied it.

The departure, if God graces one with long life, is so much like the arrival in reverse…Obviously.  Friends and family shower a baby and gather things for arrival.  Friends and family dry off a life by dispersal.  Estate sales pop up everywhere. It is our turn yet we would rather give up our place in line and move to the back.

The tears came at an odd time (I thought anyway).  I dropped off my mother’s table and chairs at my daughter’s new apartment.  As I said goodbye and kissed her neck all the movement moved me.  I apologized to her.  “It’s just that there is a lot of movement going on lately.”

My eyes felt the after burn all day as I drove from one place to another and another.  The cargo trailer ended up at church chained and locked.  Yeah, that would be a good place for stuff  to be parked.