“ When we first see it, really see it, it will look like the place we always wanted to call home. We will have imagined it before we find it, and so, when we see it, it will look and feel as though we had always known it, loved it, because it will be so much a part of who we are…Then distant faces will look up to see us, the glimmer of recognition, and we will begin to run, even if before we had not been able to walk a single step, we will run and run to see them. We will be home.” Bishop Steven Charleston, Daily Facebook message
What I hear from Bishop Charleston is his image of life in the resurrection, what Barbara Crafton calls the Alsolife. Eventually spiritual friends feel safe enough to talk about life after death with each other. I think of so many images and stories from others. One of my favorite priests tells me, “Beware of those who tell you they know what life after resurrection is.” True. No one knows. Our only few clues are Jesus’ post-resurrection stories. But we can imagine.
Could what Charleston also is describing is the place where we find peace in our this life, this life time, where we feel connected to “the God of our understanding” as those in 12 step recovery would describe.
Bishop Charleston does speak to the place “we will have imagined.” This is the place we search for in centering prayer, meditation, lectio divina, walking the labyrinth, using the rosary, all the spiritual disciplines we use.
I also think we connect to this place when we have a realization that we are so cared for. I saw it recently in the eyes of a friend who had a near death experience, where she was cared for all along the way, where people she knew and strangers, stepped in and did the right thing to save her.
Bishop Charleston has described what it is like to find his place of peace and connection in this life and perhaps what it may be in the next. He seems to be inviting us to imagine what ours is and may be as well.