I recently visited an old friend of mine, Frank, who is relatively newly bereaved. He and his wife Margaret had been together for 60+ years, and he was the lifelong manager of a large Hertfordshire estate farm – now retired.
We talked of Margaret and how she would now be in heaven, and I told Frank that I believe God created the world as his ultimate resting place, as his temple, and that at some time in the future, heaven will reign on earth.
I talked to him about things that I had learnt in my studies.
The Temple of Creation
Prominent theologians today argue that God built a temple for himself, more beautiful than anything mankind could even dream of when he created the world as his ultimate resting place.
He sculpted his holy planet not with bricks and mortar but with the beauty of the natural world. Then populated his temple with an astonishing range of animals and topped it off with humankind to look after the animals and all creation.
God had long-term plans to release his Holy Spirit into the world, and those who accepted the gift of the spirit dwelling within them would become the living stones of his temple.
His divinity was to flow freely throughout all creation and not be encased within an artificial construction such as worshippers in the ancient near east temples believed, and heaven would reign on earth.
Frank sat and listened as I told him these things, and he was so quiet that I wondered if he would try to discredit this line of thinking.
There followed a long silence, then suddenly to my delight, he said; I was at Durham Cathedral fifty years ago with Margaret, and we bought a poem there called Take Time to See.
He then went on to recite the poem for me and was word-perfect in his recital as he had committed every word to heart. It was a beautiful moment.
Take Time to See
It seems so hard to understand
As I look out across the land
That all I view belongs to me
I ought to take more time to see.
The distant hills and mountains high
The rolling clouds and bright blue sky
No one can take these views from me
As long as I have eyes to see.
A timid deer with haunting look
Who stands refreshed by yonder brook
Knows not that he belongs to me
Oh what a thrilling sight to see.
The sound of song birds gay and clear
That fill the morning air with cheer
And fragrant flowers of every hue
That stand erect bedecked with dew
All these and more belong to me
If I but use my eyes to see.
When evening shadows gather nigh
and twinkling stars light up the sky
I hear my master say to me
I made it all for you ‘to see’
My heart grows warm with faith and pride
To know that he is by my side.
My friend Frank is more than happy for me to share these thoughts and memories with you.
Update 15th July 2023: One year later, Frank is now resting in heaven with Margaret – RIP Frank and Margaret.
The author’s name of the poem is not clear on the original original text, but it was published by Tim Tiley Ltd., circa 1970. Please let me know, if you know, who the author of the poem is so that I can provide full credit. Thank you.