Voice of the divine

Ed Smith
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"Jesus is talking to you!" The words were clear enough, even through the haze that encompassed my mind and kept me from opening my eyes. But through that same fog, I fancied I could indeed hear the voice of Jesus speaking to me, although I couldn't make out what He was saying.
He might be bawling me out, as He often did with religious leaders, or trying to make me feel better, as He used to do with sick people. For some reason I knew I wasn't dreaming, although if ever there was a circumstance that demanded the explanation of a dream, this had to be it. And He had to be speaking to me because there was no one else around.
A lot runs through your mind in a hurry at a time like that, but what stood out most was the thought that I must be dead. Both God and Jesus spoke distinctly and personally to people in the Bible, but it was fairly rare in this day and age, especially when you were still alive.
I've heard people claim that they heard the voice of God speaking to them from out of the clouds, telling them to do this or not to do that. It seems a dangerous thing to me to use God as an excuse for your sins or even your good deeds. Better you owned up to both yourself.
Can't expect to go to heaven for all the good you do if it wasn't you who was responsible for doing it.
But now it's almost as though they have both given up on the idea. Perhaps they tried and no one listened. Perhaps no one recognized whose voice it was. It's not something you hear every day, after all. Or is it? I don't know.
"Jesus is talking to you!"
There it was again, even louder, and coming from above me. Where else would you expect a voice of that nature to be coming from, if not above you?
Isn't that where Jesus is? In heaven? And where is heaven if not up?
When it's said that someone is raising his eyes to heaven, it's meant that he's looking up, right? On the other hand, when people pray they usually bow their heads and look down, even if they're suppose to have their eyes shut, so that doesn't tell you much.
Most churches have steeples pointing upwards to indicate that they're reaching toward heaven, so that's another clue that the Promised Land is up there somewhere.
The biblical character Jacob had a dream in which he saw angels climbing up to and down from heaven. Wouldn't need a ladder if it wasn't up. Must have been a wide ladder, too, to allow them to pass each other on the way up and down.
At this point, some people are going to say I'm making fun of the Bible. Although certain biblical characters and situations invite a little humour to be directed their way, I do plead innocent to "making fun."
Others will maintain that the facts of this little monologue are all made up, but that, too, would be incorrect. You'll see.
The thing that struck me even as a child about heaven being up there somewhere, was the seemingly contradictory fact of Australia. As soon as I discovered they were on the bottom of the world, I realized that "up" for them was in the totally opposite direction of "up" for us.
How could that be? If heaven, and God and Jesus who lived there, was in one direction for us, how could it be in another completely different direction for Aussies? Is it possible that Australians would never get to heaven because they were going in the wrong direction?
If so, I wondered, what were we doing sending missionaries off to foreign lands trying to get the heathen over there to heaven? At least they were pointed in the right direction. Wouldn't it be better if we were to try sending emigration officials (as a child, I didn't know what such people were called, but I knew they existed) down there to try and get them all to move to Canada and thus be saved?
It's amazing the number of people to whom you mention the Australian theological conundrum who assume a puzzled expression and exclaim, "Great heavens! That's right!" I don't know if they ever come to grips with the problem or not.
But I have. The truth of it is that God has us completely surrounded.
I finally got my eyes as open as my ears and was startled by what I saw. The first thing was the face of my friendly neighbourhood family doctor. My first reaction was surprise at finding him among the cherubim and Seraphim. But that was replaced with shock at having both of us there at the same time!
It never occurred to me that I shouldn't be there myself. But I was still hearing the voice of Jesus coming from above me and I suddenly realized it was coming from the television in the upper corner of the room (so I can see it lying in bed). Finally, I came to my senses completely.
Earlier in the day it was suspected I had pneumonia, and good doctor that he is and knowing how difficult it is for me to get to the hospital and then be manhandled out of my chair and all that goes with it, he decided to drop by after his workday. I had fallen asleep in my chair and was consequently sound to the world when he walked in.
It was he who pronounced that Jesus was talking to me. The movie on television was about the life of Christ or something similar, and he thought that he was being funny. You may agree.
Whatever, that's as close to heaven as I want to get for the foreseeable future.

Ed Smith lives in Springdale.
His e-mail address is

Geographic location: Promised Land, Australia, Canada Springdale

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