Did you notice that my quest to find the kingdom of God that is said to lie within began and ended with denying one’s self for love?


When God’s Son, Jesus, said NO to His own desire to keep walking around this old earth with His friends, healing people and amazing them and He sweated blood thinking about being hung, He denied Himself to do what His Father sent Him to do. That is to die for love of humankind, for our immortal life in the kingdom of God.


After wandering the face of the earth and my heart seeking God’s kingdom, I suddenly remembered that the only time I had ever glimpsed such an amazing place was when I decided to do what I knew would make me unhappy for the sake of love. It was an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny crucifixion but it opened the gates to a spectacular kingdom.


God loves circles.


Aspiring immortals who love God so much more than we love ourselves, our pride, even our opinions, are the ones who are invited to experience the kingdom of God within and the future one. My sad realization was that I can only possibly experience the inner kingdom if I end my search for it and instead spend more time yielding my will to God’s Will even if it kills me.


Even though the kingdom of God is surely within me, I am not allowed to go in and out of there whenever it pleases me. That sacred city, like a holy altar will open its gates to me when the Lord allows it to. Not a minute before.


Meanwhile, at the center of the inner kingdom of Evangeline also dwell other people and I am sure even a few fairies and angels. So, for now I can visit them whenever I want. Every night this week, when the sun has gone and darkness lets me rest, I have visited my father.


Jesus and I have this in common. We love our fathers.


My father led a life rich in love and suffering. His intimate relationship with suffering probably began on that cold February evening when he was a boy of ten who had just learned that his adoring mother, who went to buy them cupcakes, was killed by a car. I didn’t know that boy, but I know that his own strong and holy father taught him how to live when life was severe, and how to love the Lord. Day after sorrowful day young Charley listened to his father’s songs coming up from the basement kitchen, love songs to his departed wife, songs his dad composed as he cooked for his family of eight. My father told me that when he was a teenager he studied character, and how he measured up. No wonder Dad became such a strong and beloved man.


The Charley I knew was also a single father because of my mother’s psychological illness. How he suffered from her disease, bitter conflict and loneliness; so tormented was he that he even lost his business and his fortune. Rather than relieve himself of his obligations with bankruptcy, Charley shut down the business and worked for others to pay every last debt while his wife was in institutions and his teenage girls at home depended on him.


When cancer was his last torturer, dad wanted to keep on living, even if it meant to keep on suffering, for love of his girls. I’ll never forget the distressed look on his face when he realized that he would have to leave us and his fear that we would need him and he wouldn’t be here for us. He must have been remembering the bitter grief of his own mother-loss. The many times I did indeed need him and he wasn’t here, I had that look to remind me that his wish and will was not granted, so I went to Our Father who art in heaven for help.


It took me several years after he died to cry, so relieved was I that his suffering, not just the disease had finally ended. Dad tried to teach me how to deny myself on several occasions when I thought the fair thing to do was the thing I wanted most. He said the fair thing to do was what the other person wanted. And so on my first father’s day without him, my gift to my dad was to give away something that I wanted very much to keep.


My father didn’t just tell me that he loved me, he showed it. He showed me the value of suffering and the importance of reaching out to those you love. My dad is a worthy immortal who died to self over and over and over again. And so when seeking the inner kingdom of God, near the sacred and shut gates I spend time precious time with my father within. Thank you Dad.

The LaGuardia Lesson about the Inner Kingdom

There is one thing I want to know. Is it possible to go to the inner kingdom of God while sitting in an airport? I would so much rather be there than here. If I can go there at all, now would be a perfect time to figure out how. Maybe that is why I missed my flight and landed in LaGuardia for this wait. My Boss wanted me to see if I could go there when I hate where I am at the moment. Maybe I am usually too comfortable to go to the inner kingdom of God.

Usually I try to go to the inner kingdom of God in the middle of the night when I am in my comfy cozy bed and I can’t sleep. Since I have pretty much decided thanks to Mr. Freud that I can’t go there with my mind, I try to clear the room of my mind or I think about how wonderful God is, and pray hoping that I will somehow stumble upon the door and walk in. Unfortunately, I end up in a pool of random thoughts, or I fall asleep.

Now I am in a room filled with loud chatty people. On two sides glass walls separate us from a dense fog. It is so foggy that it looks like we are on an airplane travelling through clouds or waiting for the Judgment Seat. Here, I am not alone in my desire to be elsewhere. I am surrounded by hundreds of people who also want to go somewhere else, some want to go to Dayton, others to Syracuse. Wouldn’t it be fabulous if the lady announced that the next flight will take us to the inner kingdom of God! All aboard! I am jealous. At least these other people will end up where they want to be. Not me. Not by plane through the fog at least.

It looks like I am being shown all the ways how NOT to reach the inner kingdom of God. It’s apophatic! Apophatic reasoning is used to know God by what He is not because it is impossible to know God by what He is because He is so immense. God is not mean, or a liar, or small. And, I can’t reach the inner kingdom of God through my mind, in a sleepless bed, or by airplane.

Jesus said that the kingdom of God is within and I believe Him. It would have been very helpful had He given us an idea of how to get there. Instead He described the kingdom of God in many oblique ways like the valuable pearl. Did He call it a pearl because it is born within? How beautiful.

Ahaa! I just thought of something. One reason why I am having such a hard time is that I am not trying to go to the kingdom of Evangeline, but that is where I always end up.

To go to God's kingdom, I must be invited even if that kingdom dwells inside of me. This reminds me of my pro-life argument. For the same reason that the inner baby should not be extinguished at the will of the outer mama, the inner kingdom of God is not beholden to the whim or will of the outer person.

Like the baby and the mama, God and I share this body. His kingdom within is a royal palace. I can clear my mind for hours, or I could praise and worship but if I am not invited in, I am as if stuck at the airport.

Lord, may I visit Your kingdom within me someday soon?