// “from twilight to unclouded day” //

The surprise of it bewildered Anne. For a few moments she could not speak.

“You know it’s so, don’t you?” said Ruby insistently.

“Yes, I know,” answered Anne in a low tone. “Dear Ruby, I know.”

“Everybody knows it,” said Ruby bitterly. “I know it — I’ve known it all summer, though I wouldn’t give in. And, oh, Anne” — she reached out and caught Anne’s hand pleadingly, impulsively — “I don’t want to die. I’m afraid to die.”

“Why should you be afraid, Ruby?” asked Anne quietly.

“Because — because — oh, I’m not afraid but that I’ll go to heaven, Anne. I’m a church member. But — it’ll be all so different. I think — and think — and I get so frightened — and — and — homesick. Heaven must be very beautiful, of course, the Bible says so — but, Anne, it won’t be what I’ve been used to.”

Through Anne’s mind drifted an intrusive recollection of a funny story she had heard Philippa Gordon tell — the story of some old man who had said very much the same thing about the world to come. It had sounded funny then — she remembered how she and Priscilla had laughed over it. But it did not seem in the least humorous now, coming from Ruby’s pale, trembling lips. It was sad, tragic — and true! Heaven could not be what Ruby had been used to. There had been nothing in her gay, frivolous life, her shallow ideals and aspirations, to fit her for that great change, or make the life to come seem to her anything but alien and unreal and undesirable. Anne wondered helplessly what she could say that would help her. Could she say anything? “I think, Ruby,” she began hesitatingly — for it was difficult for Anne to speak to any one of the deepest thoughts of her heart, or the new ideas that had vaguely begun to shape themselves in her mind, concerning the great mysteries of life here and hereafter, superseding her old childish conceptions, and it was hardest of all to speak of them to such as Ruby Gillis — “I think, perhaps, we have very mistaken ideas about heaven — what it is and what it holds for us. I don’t think it can be so very different from life here as most people seem to think. I believe we’ll just go on living, a good deal as we live here — and be ourselves just the same — only it will be easier to be good and to — follow the highest. All the hindrances and perplexities will be taken away, and we shall see clearly. Don’t be afraid, Ruby.”

“I can’t help it,” said Ruby pitifully. “Even if what you say about heaven is true — and you can’t be sure — it may be only that imagination of yours — it won’t be just the same. It can’t be. I want to go on living here. I’m so young, Anne. I haven’t had my life. I’ve fought so hard to live — and it isn’t any use — I have to die — and leave everything I care for.” Anne sat in a pain that was almost intolerable. She could not tell comforting falsehoods; and all that Ruby said was so horribly true. She WAS leaving everything she cared for. She had laid up her treasures on earth only; she had lived solely for the little things of life — the things that pass — forgetting the great things that go onward into eternity, bridging the gulf between the two lives and making of death a mere passing from one dwelling to the other — from twilight to unclouded day. God would take care of her there — Anne believed — she would learn — but now it was no wonder her soul clung, in blind helplessness, to the only things she knew and loved.

// L.M. Montgomery / Anne of the Island / (‘twas I who bolded that one sentence for emphasis) //

~

I love this novel and read it about once every six months or so (maybe more now that I’m on the brink of college life myself), and every time that passage just gets me.

Because I don’t know about you, but I see a bit of Ruby Gillis in myself— that part of me that gets all caught up in this entertainment-oriented world we live in. The part of me that longs for attention and praise. The part of me that gets distracted so very easily from the Lord. The part of me that wants to say, “Oh, well, no worries, there’s always tomorrow to focus on God.”

But the thing is, there isn’t always a tomorrow. Eventually, tomorrow runs out. And I don’t want to reach the end of my tomorrows and realize that I’m afraid of death— that I’ve invested all my heart and life into nothing but earthly things. Temporary fills.

No, my purpose on this earth is so much greater than that. I want to be brave and take a stand for my faith, no matter what. I want to speak up for the broken, for the defenseless, because that’s what Jesus did. I want to shine His light everywhere I go, with everything I do. I want to love others with the agape love He first showed us. I want to bring Him glory and honor and praise, always.

And… I want heaven to be my heart’s home. I don’t want to be disappointed because it won’t be what I was used to. But somehow… somehow I don’t think that’ll happen. Honestly? I think I’ll be too in awe to even think about my life here. And that’ll be the most amazing experience— finally being in the Lord’s presence. Finally coming home where I belong, where all of us do. Can you even begin to imagine?

~

“If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.”

// C.S. Lewis / Mere Christianity //

~

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

// 2 Corinthians 4:18 / NIV //

~

{love always, Em}

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2 thoughts on “// “from twilight to unclouded day” //

  1. I love this! My thoughts on this part in Anne of the Island (such a lovely book!) are much the same. It’s so heart-wrenching, but the truth it demonstrates is so beautiful. This was good for me to read as I’m going back to school tomorrow and need to remember to focus on the things of eternity, especially as the here and now seems ever more pressing. Thank you for this post!

    Like

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