THE GREEN PASTURE
How peaceful was the time that followed! Our dear angel said we had had quite a lot of teaching and had used up a deal of energy in all our visits and so we must be refreshed.
“We shall visit the Garden of Serenity and walk awhile in the Green Pasture,” he said.
“Oh, where is it? ” Janet cried eagerly. “It sounds delightful.”
“It is here,” said the Angel.
“Here?” I echoed. “But we are in a wood. Surely this cannot be the garden of Serenity nor yet the Green Pasture.”
“No. Yet, nevertheless, it is here. Remember, Janet and Bernard, that space does not exist in Heaven’s realm. When you appear to travel on wings from place to place, you do not, in reality, move at all. It is merely that another plane unfolds, as though a veil rolled back. On this very spot there are planes upon planes; scene upon scene is revealed to a million souls. On this very spot where we now stand there are great deserts seemingly empty of all life, there are many Halls thronged with souls upon the social plane of progress, there are towering mountains and swift-running rivers and animals noisy at their play. That is why people of earth are so foolish when they mourn the loss of loved ones, thinking them departed an immeasurable distance from their ken. They are here, for Heaven’s realm is the eternal ‘here’ and the unending ‘now'”.
“Yet, they should not make the mistake of thinking that because the loved one is near, he is bound to earth and the consciousness of earth. He may be far, far removed in consciousness, soaring up to realms of splendour. Yet the lonely one has but to cherish a simple faith in his heart and that faith will act as a link by which his love may reach to the one beyond the veil and the departed one’s love may come down to him.”
“What a long speech,” I commented, smiling at the Ruby Angel.
“I should think so!” Janet echoed, but the angel knew how interested we were. “Let us go to the Garden of Serenity,” he said.
Again we felt that strange sensation of ‘winging’. We seemed to be lifted up and the wood appeared to grow small, gradually fading from our sight. And then we were in the Garden…. “It is all green,” Janet breathed.
And so it was. Smooth, green lawns swept away, far beyond our sight. Green trees, so thickly clothed as to almost hide the trunks, stood in long avenues on either side and the sun, pouring down, sent deeper green shadows over the grass. A tiny stream rippled over mossy stones making, with the sun, a touch of silver and gold among the green. As far as the eye could see (and this is a very great distance in Heaven’s realm) there was nothing else. As we began to walk, the angel said softly:
“‘The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.'”
He does indeed,” I murmured, drinking deep of the pure, sweet air. ‘He restoreth my soul; He restoreth my soul.’ The words seemed to float in my mind, to echo in my heart, and I knew that the same thing was happening to Janet. Presently I asked:
“If there is no travelling in Heaven’s realm, how is it that we are able to walk?”
“Ah, that is a different kind of travelling,” our angel explained. “Here, you are travelling over one particular plane, which is immeasurably vast so that you could walk for eternity and never come to the end of it, but when it comes to travelling from one plane to another you have but to stand still, for one plane is superimposed on the other.” “I see,” we both said, dimly understanding.
As we had been walking, the trees had ended, the stream had wound away out of our sight and we had come to a vast meadow.
“This is the Green Pasture,” said the angel, answering my enquiring look. “Let us sit down on the grass awhile.”
“We shall crush the daisies,” Janet cried regretfully, but the angel reassured her. “They will spring upright when we move.”
For a long time we sat there, breathing deeply and looking at the vast field of tiny white daisies nodding in the breeze. Then, as we gazed, the minute shadows from the setting sun grew longer and each flower slowly closed its petals into a crimson-tipped cup. “I wonder why the daisies close at eventide? “Janet murmured.
“It is to preserve the life of the Father which comes to them from the light,” the angel said. “How truly they are named ‘the day’s eye’ Sweetly, softly, they close their petals, treasuring in their golden hearts the Life-Power which the day’s light has brought. All through the dark hours of night they live upon this power and then, when the eye of the day opens once more, they too open to receive more light.”
Janet and I picked a daisy and regarded it attentively, with renewed interest. Then the angel’s quiet voice came to us again.
“Thus it is when humans sleep and thus it is when the time comes to die. As sweetly, as softly, when the day’s eye closes for another soul, the Father’s life is gathered to that soul’s heart, and when he opens his eyes to another day, lo, the world is beautiful, the sun shines, the Father’s light pours down upon him and all is well. So when you see the daisy remember that sleep and death are one, that sleep and death are but the closing of the day’s eye.”