I am a fan of mysteries. I love watching detectives in movies and on television. I love mystery novels so much that I don’t just read them on the beach. But I’m one of those people who doesn’t try to solve the puzzle before the end of the story. I like to experience the mystery as it unfolds. I especially love unsolved mysteries, those brainteasers that simply cannot be wrapped up tightly leaving no lose ends. Stories like mountaintop visions of transfigured splendor.
In 1947, Langston Hughes published the poem "Luck." It could be read as an ode to love. It could be read at weddings along with 1 Corinthians 13, the biblical ode to love. But that would miss the point of both the poem and the scripture.
For several years, I directed the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. The center hosts five initiatives that together address and support the long arc of ministry through a variety of resources and research projects. Its name--the Center for Pastoral Excellence--has been somewhat controversial.
What might change if we could see something up there greater than the suffering world below? If we could get a glimpse of heaven, we would have proof—an experience that we could refer back to for the rest of our lives.