Recently a co-worker shared a personal experience with me.  She recently became engaged to a wonderful man who treats her like a princess.  From the little I know about her past, I do know that it is about time!
I was so moved by her story that I asked her if I could share it.  She said yes....
A few weeks ago, they went to the beach for the weekend.  While sitting there, she became overwhelmed with the sense of her mother's presence.  Her mom had passed 6 years prior.  She was a sweet, very loving and kind person that adored everyone.  While sitting on the beach, she suddenly felt a strong sense that her mother was there with them and that she was filled with joy that her daughter was being treated the way she had always deserved.  She began sobbing uncontrollably while her prince held her, not yet knowing what she was experiencing.
I had an urge to paint an image to memorialize this moment when heaven came and touched the earth for her.  I used a couple of reference images I had of beach scenes.  As I began to paint, I decided to widen the light reflection in the water so that the light would embrace the couple.  As I did that, I began to see that there was a subtle form of an angel made by the sun, the clouds and the reflection on the water.
I was struck by the fact that she shared her story with me to begin with.  We really didn't know each other well.  I feel like her sharing that experience was a gift.  Her story healed something in me while I listened to it originally and when I painted the scene.  It is difficult in our culture to be vulnerable with each other but I believe that it is a gate we can open and that rewards us when we do.
I believe that heaven touches the earth everyday, all the time.  I don't believe that heaven is something we strive to "achieve."  That is what our culture does to the image of heaven.

We don't have to earn it,
it's here.
We don't have to plan for it,
it's here.
We don't have to wait for it,
it's here.

What we have to do,
is be here.

Listen, love, and let it be.