Where the Present Touches Eternity


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“We (the demons) want [man] to be in the maximum uncertainty, so that his mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear. There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a himan’s mind against [God]. He want men to ce concentrated with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

This present time and age rocks and churns with uncertainty. With each bomb exploded, each innocent child killed senselessly, each cry of anguish and pain that gathers like a cloud over and around us, it’s easy to feel lost. Beauty is marred and history now tainted.

How many more cities must erect a memorial in honor of the victims?

In times like this, we have to be careful not to wallow in the uncertainty of this present age. As Americans, we are a toddler nation still youthful in our page of history. The rest of the world is pitted and scarred with the darkness of evil, but beauty and goodness shine bright. Just visit the cathedrals that still stand in the Italian countryside, their centuries old paintings revealing beauty in ashes.

Look at the statues carved from stone and close your eyes and take in the brilliant, soul stirring symphonies of Mozart and Beethoven, Gershwin and Chopin. Read Pushkin and Akhmatova and get lost in the words of those brilliant poets who weave pictures with pen and paper that send color into the dark world.

Most of the great beauty in this world has risen from the heat of evil.

When the world gets dark and smoky, it’s easy to fall into cynicism. We wonder what kind of world we’re living, what kind of darkness our children will have to endure as they grow.

But we can also remember that these things, though shocking and revolting and vile and senseless, are not new and they are not the end of beauty or hope or joy or goodness. All you had to do was watch footage of the first responders to know that goodness wins. And really, without the ugly how would we ever know what beauty truly looked like?


Without evil, how could there possibly be good?


These last few months have rocked me to my core. They’ve tested my faith and pushed me down into the heap of ashes. I’ve lamented and cried over the child in the orphanage who may never know how much she was already loved – a child who could have had a home but now may never know the comfort and security of a family. I’ve wept bitterly over the children who could have known love.

I’ve looked hard at the darkness, the ability for man to make all of life into a giant mess, and I’ve wondered where the beauty lies in all of it. I’ve looked around and seen the world with new eyes and realized…we are all covered in ashes. And what are we to do with that?

We keep loving. We keep rushing forward into the dark and we be the light. We teach our children what it means to be the light. As for me, I am working on finding the beauty. I can’t focus on the darkness because there is no hope there and life without hope is life without beauty. I cannot  dwell on the fear of the future, the unknown and unfulfilled desires of the heart – instead I must trust that the only true impact I can have on this world is living fully right now, in this present moment.

“The humans live in time but our Enemy (God) destines them to eternity. He therefore, I believe, wants them to attend chiefly to two things, to eternity itself, and to that point of time which they call the Present. For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

It sounds cliche and almost trite to say I’m praying for Boston today, but I am. I am praying for all the hurting hearts and the darkened souls. And I’m praying that today I will be ready to act – ready to be light, to show love, to speak well and bring out the beauty.

 Live for the Present friends. Let’s touch eternity together.


  1. I just can’t watch the coverage because it begins a war in my soul. I am trying to just focus instead on “the work of the day” and remind myself continually of the truth that God IS in control. Love this verse….. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Ps. 27:13

  2. Well written, Kelli.

  3. Without evil, how could there possibly be good? Hmm……
    Let’s continue with that thinking:
    Without death, how could there possibly be life?
    Without divorce, how could there possibly be marriage?
    Without poverty, how could there possibly be those who are rich?
    Without hate, how could there possibly be love?
    Without cold, how could there possibly be hot?
    Without dark, how could there possibly be light?
    Without agony, how could there possibly be pleasure?
    Without unhappiness, how could there possibly be happiness?
    Without the devil, how could there possibly be a God?
    Perhaps, this line of thinking is correct, but I refuse to accept it. Does everything happen for a reason “of duality?” Do we need events like the bombing yesterday, to know there is beauty, pleasure, love, ….? I don’t think so! 🙁

    • Thanks for your comment, Ron! Honestly, I think God Himself is the only One who can see good without evil. He saw it when He created the world. But we are human and finite and I think we do live with the reality of duality. Because you can turn all of those statements around:
      Without love there is hate.
      Without light the is dark.
      Without pleasure there is agony (or perhaps better stated, pain).
      Without life there is death.
      Without happiness there is unhappiness.
      Without wealth there is poverty.
      Without divorce…well this one’s tricky. 🙂 But without divorce there are marriages in tact, right?
      Without heat, there is cold.

      These are almost factual in nature. I don’t think it’s something that needs to be accepted so much as acknowledged. And if we recognize that the opposite of good is evil, then we have the power to do something about it. We have the power to be good, to be light, to be love, to know pleasure and joy and happiness. But the inverse must be recognized first.

      I don’t think we need bombings to be reminded of good, but I think we can recognize good much more when we are forced to stare evil in the face. Am I making any sense at all? 🙂

      I love when you comment, by the way. You are a thinker and I really, really appreciate it. 🙂

      • Kelli, you made sense to me. But, I wish for a life where I don’t need to know the negative in order to know the positive. Actually, I think life is more complicated than “positive and/or negative.” Take, for example, love & hate. Love of country, spouse, food, house, children, animals, …. and hate of country, spouse, food, house, children, animals, …. Many would agree on different kinds of love(s) and, well, hate has many different meanings, as well. Some would say they would never hate (you fill in the word). Take the horrible statement, “I hate children.” Well, I need to “recognize” the hate of children first, before I can love them. Or do I? 🙂

        • I wish for such a life, too, but I don’t think we can have one without the other this side of heaven.

  4. Thank you, Kelli, that was beautiful.

    @ Ron Rogers – Tragedies don’t happen because of a need for duality. They happen because God has given each and every one of us freedom to choose how we live our lives. (Not to choose the life we live, but how we will respond to the life we’re given.) Some of us choose to be good and strive towards heaven. Some do not. In the end, we will each have our turn to stand before the creator. For some of us, he will heal our hearts broken on earth. Others will face eternal consequences for their evil choices.

  5. Beautifully written! My first thought was, “I now totally get why she chose yellow for the fresh coat of paint.”

    • This is the picture you took that I adore, Jenni! There’s a solid chance it will end up on my wall. 🙂 I just want to reach out and pluck that flower out of the frame! 🙂

  6. Spring writes: “Tragedies don’t happen because of a need for duality. They happen because God has given each and every one of us freedom to choose how we live our lives. (Not to choose the life we live, but how we will respond to the life we’re given.”

    Hmmm….. Tragedies happen because God wants to know how we will respond to the life we’re given? This seems like a trick of the devil.
    What is God?

    • I’m sorry, I probably phrased that wrong. What I meant was that God is not the cause of tragedies like this one. It’s caused by people making bad choices. (the people who made, planted, and detonated the bombs)

    • Hi Ron,
      I took a minute to sit and ask myself what I really think.

      Then I realized I didn’t answer your question, “What is God?” Maybe we can understand each other better if we know where each of us is coming from.

      I believe God is the spiritual Father of all of us. He created each of us before we were born. He knows and loves us each as individuals. He created this world for us to come down, get a physical body, and to learn and grow. Like any father, he allows us to make our own choices – and sometimes mistakes – because he knows they will help us learn. He knew each of us would make mistakes while we were down here (we would all sin), so he provided his son, Jesus Christ, to attone for our sins and allow us to return to our Father after this life.

      That is who “God” is to me.

      You say it sounds like a trick of the devil that God wants to see how we respond to the life we have.

      I do believe that this life is a test, to see if we will be faithful to God, even when we can’t see him. The story of Job is all about how God allowed Satan to bring tragedy into Job’s life, ultimately proving Job’s faith and dedication. Followers of Christ have never had easy lives. We’ve never been promised that this life will be easy, or free of heartache. We are promised that we can find Peace in Christ, here in this life, and when we return to the Father.

      I hope we can all find peace after this tragedy, and I pray for everyone involved.

      • Hello Spring,
        I sincerely wish I could believe the way you believe. Your life must be so comfortable, knowing you have such a short time to put up with your current life and then will find Peace in Christ.

        I have been seeking for as long as I can remember. I have belonged, and not belonged, to many different Christian religions. I was a Catholic for the longest period of practicing-time.

        Actually, I’ve never had a problem with Christ, Allah, Buddha, Zoroaster, etc. Usually, my problem(s) is(are) with what is done ‘in their name(s).” Historically, their goodness have often been used for evil and, in my opinion, contradicts their teachings. Of course, often an expert in a particular religion will “interpret” the teachings of Christ, Allah, etc. to justify the evil.

        My guess is that whoever is responsible for the tragedy at the Boston Marathon has spiritually and religiously justified her/his action. 🙁

        Thanks for your civil reply. Spring, you seem like a good person and good Christian. Also, I looked at your website and admire your spirit of adventure. You make me want to get rid of all of my “stuff” and move to a place like Sedona, AZ. Why Sedona? Because it’s the one place I’ve visited where I felt “connected spiritually” the whole time I was there. 🙂

        • Thank you, too, Ron. I wish you luck in your search.

          At least two things we agree on – people have done horrible things in the name of God. And Sedona is BEAUTIFUL. 🙂

          Please indulge me on one little thing … I have no idea what website you visited that you thought was mine! I have a (supposedly) private blog I use to share pictures of my kids with family and friends, and I have a writing blog (which I believe only the members of my critique group visit). I’ve never been praised for my spirit of adventure, so I’m just wondering what website you were looking at. 🙂

          • Ron and Spring,

            I have been painting all day and haven’t had the time to sit down and respond. And when I did, I almost wondered if I even should. I kind of feel like I’m butting in on a lovely conversation.

            Thank you both for sharing your hearts so eloquently and honestly. Ron I agree with you that man has a wretched ability to misuse and misrepresent God, twisting Him to fit an agenda that is anything but good, right, pure or holy. This makes me sad. So sad.

            I wonder if either of you has ever read the Screwtape Letter? If you haven’t, I can’t recommend it enough for getting a unique perspective of God and of man. It was written in 1941 as Hitler expanded his reign of terror, but the principles of man and life could easily be applied to today. It’s really quite fascinating. I envy such depth of thought and writing. 🙂

            Again, thank you both for being open to share and disagree. I want this to be a safe place where we can encourage one another to deeper thinking and joy, even if we don’t see eye to eye. You two are some of the good ones. Thanks.

            Oh, and Ron, I think the website you visited was my friend Jenni’s who does, indeed, have an amazing spirit of adventure. A year on the road exploring Creation? Yep. I’m jealous of her.


  7. Kelli, I just wanted to say that I didn’t mean to blow off your words about duality. I do believe there is opposition in all things in this life.

    Also, I love the Screwtape letters. C.S. Lewis has such an amazing way of putting things … and so do you. I’m grateful for the wisdom you share with us through your blog.

  8. Kelli and Spring,

    I’ve read some of the Screwtape Letters, but never from beginning to end. Frankly, while reading them, I get lost in thought and end up never finishing. 🙁 But, what I’ve read, I found insightful and thoughtful.

    Kelli, you’re correct. It was Jenni’s website that I visited. Spring, your blog is still private. 🙂

    In friendship,