"Eternal life begins now."

O when the world's at peace
and every man is free
then I will go down unto my love.

O and I may go down
several times before that.

That "The Mad Farmer's Love Song," by Wendell Berry. I like it. I think it says the final joy can be enjoyed even now, echoing Dorothy Day's line, "Eternal life begins now." She also used to quote Catherine of Siena: "All the way to heaven is heaven, because Jesus said, 'I am the Way.'"

That speaks to my hope and desire (and need) that we are not determined and bound by the limitations of this non-eternal life. That we need not accept that the only way to help some people is to kick other people out (or lock up those people or execute them, etc). That may be the only way if the help we offer is mere human help: money, food, housing. But Jesus offered help that does not run out, that is not limited, that cannot be stolen...

If we're offering what Jesus offered, we need never say, "Sorry, there's nothing left for you." There is always more and more to give. That is freedom. That is joy.

The woman is leaving here today (going to a motel temporarily, then I don't know). Everyone is exhausted. But I refuse to accept the "necessity" of this situation; I refuse to accept it as part of life. It is not the freedom of eternal life. And there is evidence that this freedom does exist, even right now in the midst of it all.

My moments of freedom these past few days:

Going to her room, crying, and apologizing for my part in this and taking myself out of the decision-making process. Saying we both need to find a better place for us, and that I realized I needed to leave too. Telling her I thought we both needed help to find our way ahead and asking her to please accept the help of doctors.

Then, this morning, making breakfast for our guests (something I haven't had energy to do in quite a while): fresh-baked biscuits, bacon, eggs, coffee. Six of us sitting around the table enjoying the food, including the woman who is leaving. Then finding a back-pack and a big container in the attic to pack her things in.

Eternal life can begin right now.