Death and Life of a Soldier: 13
CHAPTER SIX THE WEDDING GARMENT
When at last I was summoned to meet Reg again I noticed a great change in him. He was quieter, yet he held a suggestion of strength and secret joy that I found most attractive. As we sat together with our backs against a convenient tree, he said with a twinkle: “You think I am altered, don’t you?”
I was astonished, for up to now Reg had shown scarcely any ability for the receiving of thoughts. “How do you know that?” I countered.
“Just felt it. Must be something to do with that exchange of thought one of the boys described. Couldn’t get the hang of it until flow.”
“That is because you are growing. As you learn and grow, these gifts of Heaven come to you naturally. When I say ‘gifts’ I do no mean that you win them by an effort of your ownthey are for everyone! You just grow into them, as it were.”
“Well, it is very pleasant. Feels companionable, you know.”
“Yes. On earth people suffer all kinds of sorrows and pains because they cannot understand the other fellow’s point of view. Words do not always make it clear. Consequently, many feel isolated. That is the effect of the barrier of the physical body which shuts them off from all other physical bodieslike water in a number of bottles
Here the water flows together in one bowl”
“And yet there is the mental veil. I heard about that.”
“Oh, yes. Heaven would not be a peaceful place if everyone’s thoughts intermingled whether they wished it or not. The mental veil is voluntary, though, and can be lifted at any time.”
On the way, Reg explained that he had to visit one of his mates Robbie. It appeared that Robbie had lent him some money during their military training. In the excitement of being moved up to the front and the subsequent fighting and fatigue, Robbie had forgotten the loan. Reg, thinking himself fortunate, said nothing more about it; then Robbie died.
“It gave me a shock to see how that had stained my robe.”
“It is one of the sad aspects of earthlife. Men think that if they can evade a debt it is smart business.’ How mistaken they are! If they did but know it, the ‘smartest business’ is to try to avoid any staining of the robe and to try to help in its cleansing by making amends whenever they can.”
“I suppose they are only thinking of the earthlife. Then what happens there seems more important than what will happen here.”
“That is it,” I agreed. “They choose to forget that time on earth is strictly limited and time in Heaven is unlimited! Yet how clearly the Master has taught them.”
“Tell me what He said.”
I quoted: “‘Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth, where the rust and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in Heaven; where neither the rust nor moth doth comsume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal’. “I wonder why men pay so little heed to that?”
“Possibly because ‘where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also’,” I rejoined.
We were silent after that while Reg looked about him in great interest. As we drew near to the Hall of Adventure, we caught sight of the great mountain up which I had seen so many climbing, long ago. Even now I could see a few figures, and I drew Reg’s attention to them. He was delighted to find that he also could use his extended Heavensight.
“It is like having a magnificent pair of fieldglasses. I can even see the faces of some of them. How they are enjoying their climb.”
Later on we passed over a desert, the sun on the vast expanse of sand being almost dazzling to our eyes. Then we skirted a storm and Reg was amazed to be able to look down on the black thunderclouds and flashing lightning without being in any way affected! After passing over a great forest, so dark that we could not even glimpse within, we came to a mighty ocean which, at its nearest point, lay smooth and shining, and at its farthest was lashed in tremendous, foaming waves. Very soon we began to alight, and then Reg cried out in wonder.
“There are people walking on the sea!”