Saturday, October 29, 2011


For the past week I cannot get the song Heaven by Brett Dennen (featuring Natalie Merchant) out of my head. The third or fourth verse is:

Throw away your myth misconceptions
There ain't no walls around heaven
There are no codes you gotta know to get in
No minutemen or border patrol

Listening to the lyrics offers me a solemn hope that is indescribable, it is likely a combination of the lyrics and the mellowing sound. In times like these we are challenged to find our Gospel conscience regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, immigration, healthcare, education, Wall Street, and ad infinitum. The above verse offers insight into the grace that flows from our Creator as we look in our hearts and decide how to act. The Gospel is a dangerous response to life. It requires that we not allow opportunity for complacency and trepidation. We are to seek conviction in the life of Jesus Christ and through this experience the emancipatory love given to us and then offer that same love to others. Thinking about Heaven does not have to be some lofty enterprise and in the verses of this song right now I am finding a home. It is not a home that is open to my snuggling-up into false security or holds me hostage to my own lack of consideration. No, in the Heaven Dennen describes goodness and change are fostered and all are welcome, something we do not often find here on earth. This song is challenging me to think of my commitment to the Gospels this week and the role that Jesus played in them, as well as what he had to say about Heaven


  1. Last Sunday, I attended a service that remembered 182 who died in the deesert in the Tucson area this year. At the service a young man spoke of his experience in 1991 of coming to the U.S. from El Salvador. The story was one of courage and hiding and finally coming forward. He spoke of those who befriended him-a story of many good Samaratans. It so touched my heart and those who stand in solidarity with the people. Then on Thursday, I attended a retreat with the people of Naco, Sonora and the people talked of connecting in compassion and love. This is who Heaven is. And it found the commitment to the Gospels in these two instances this week. The words of the song bring all of this to my mind and heart. And I know I will listen and move and have my being in what God tells me each day.

  2. Real nice, Vic. You make me smile.

  3. Vicki,
    The words of the song as well as your comments bring comfort and hope. Thanks for sharing!