Then he led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven. They did him homage and then returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and they were continually in the temple praising God.
This one will be short, after yesterday’s screed. This mystery speaks to me about the loyalty we’re expected to maintain to God even when He seems to have withdrawn into some other–maybe higher, but definitely distant–realm. This place, in between the Ascension and the descent of the Spirit, is where a lot of us live most of the time.
Promise-making requires a stern continuity of personal identity, in both the lover and the beloved: To keep my promise, I have to live within the life chosen by yesterday’s self, or the self of twenty years ago. Memory and longing try to keep us faithful to our distant beloved but in the end I think a lot of us fall back on a raw, evidence-free trust that the future won’t be like the present. It won’t always be like this; we’ll be reunited.
Here’s a song about that. I go back and forth on how creepy it seems to me. I’m always getting the shivers over perfectly gentle expressions of trust or piety–here’s one–and this song sometimes seems to hold as much threat as promise. “Wherever you go… there I’ll be.”