"'In his will is our peace, that is the sea whereto all creatures fare, fashioned by Nature or the hand of God.'
Then it was clear to me that everywhere in Heaven is Paradise."
Canto 3 Lines 85-89
My internal landscape is changing because of Dante.
It's as if I can feel God's thumbs pressing into the clay of my being as I contemplate the ideas behind the words.
And the ideas are also changing my external landscape.
I don't need much scope to see beauty in the world around me anymore.
Sometimes I'll stop just to watch light play off or through the leaves or windows.
It's not that Scripture has lost its sacred place and that other books are taking an inordinate place.
It's just that I am recognizing that God is at work in all the beauty, truth, and goodness that surrounds me.
He uses books and nature and music, everything that's redemptive, to teach me, to point Himself out to me as we go along together through this world.
I am transferring my favorite lines to a common place book.
It's as if I'm being gifted gem after precious gem to store in a treasure chest for my soul.
I've gone through the Inferno and Purgatory and I've made it to Paradise now.
And the timing of that journey has been profound.
My father died right before I started reading The Inferno.
And then another person died.
And then another.
And I had to go the long way down before I came back up.
It was a season of death and grief and chaos and suffering and it's ending now.
The Lord kindly timed it all, and gently lead me like a Father and a friend to these books and they have really helped.
The imagery in many of the worship songs we sing at church brings images from the journey to mind as I sing and that has a dynamic effect on my worship experience.
I wouldn't trade what's going on between my two ears or inside my chest for anything, except for the Christ who abides with me there.
We climb mountains together in my mind.
We feast in temple of my heart.
Christ, Himself, is the journey and the destination.