In the King’s Service: Chapter 8
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY
Almost at once, Janet came to us. We said little concerning Rose, for Reg had already told the news. Besides, a matter of far greater importance (yes, even than the arrival of our beloved guest of the Plane Between) was occupying our minds. We had been summoned to the Hall of Audience.
‘At last!’ Reg exulted, as we sped off on our long journey from the outer fringe to the heart of Heaven’s realm. ‘I have waited so long for this.’
‘Rose and Greig are very fortunate,’ Janet mused. ‘They are summoned almost as soon as they arrive. Why, they will hardly have left the gates before being carried off to make this most privileged visit!’
‘Why,’ Reg asked amazedly, ‘may newcomers go?’
‘All are invited,’ I explained. ‘It is the loving provision of the Father.’
‘But I thought until their Term of Reparation was done they could not see’ he broke off, remembering.
‘Do you recall your question to Bernard about the gates?’ Janet asked. ‘You wanted to know what would happen if you passed through them before you were PurpleGowned.’
‘Yes,’ Reg agreed. ‘He said that then the Holy Ones are only partially seen. Is it the same in the Hall of Audience?’
‘Just the same,’ I explained. ‘Remember, too, that you could not see the King when you first came to the Plane Between.’
‘Then’ Reg strove to understand. ‘Then Greig and Rose will not see as much as I will see’
‘And you will not see as much as we will see,’ I affirmed, ‘nor shall we see what those of the higher degrees’ I broke off, staring at Janet. She met my eyes with equal wonder. ‘We did not know that before.’
‘No. I must have reached out for the information. How wonderful it is !’ Reg was looking from one to the other with deep interest.
‘Do you mean,’ he demanded, ‘that according to the degree, so is the vision in the Hall of Audience?’
‘It must be so,’ Janet said musingly. ‘When we last saw the Hall of Audience we thought that was what it was all there was of it, I mean. But those of higher degree must have seen much more than we.’
‘There was the light blazing over the rim,’ I reminded her, ‘and that sense of mystery. Some of the higher ones must have seen the cause of the light’
‘Perhaps they saw the Great Mother,’ Janet interrupted eagerly. ‘Do you think, when we felt that sweetness and that great enfolding, that they saw her smile, perhaps, or bless them?’
‘It may be so.’ For a long time we mused and Reg respected our silence. He absorbed as much as he could of our thoughts and as he did so, his longing to visit the heart of Heaven’s realm increased to a burning desire. He began to grasp the wonderful mystery of it, to realise that, even when he had made his first visit, he would still know little of its real nature. Again, that sense of adventure swept him, passing on to us, also. That Heaven was limitless we had already learned, but that all we had seen was still a minute proportion of all we could see as we advanced, was a stupendous thought. My mind flew to the Halls I had already seen. Could it be that these also were entirely different from my own conception of them? Could it be that I had only seen in part, ‘as through a glass, darkly’, that these were limitless, too? My thoughts mingled with Janet’s and at last she said:
‘Then we have never really seen Heaven at all – never seen it as it is.’
‘No.’ My mind was still grappling with the profound mystery of it all. ‘We have seen what we were ready and able to see. As we grow, we shall see more and more so that our journey through Heaven’s realm will be constant adventure, a continual discovery!’
‘It will stretch on and on,’ Janet said in a tone of awe. ‘We shall always be satisfied but never be satiated. We shall grow, grow, grow, absorbing more and more of the Father’s light, realising more and more of the splendour of its Glory!’ We fell silent again, and suddenly Reg laughed:
‘I thought you were so advanced, you two! Now I know you are just babies!’ We laughed with him and my heart beat high.
‘It is the most wonderful sensation to be a babe in Heaven, old chap!’Janet gently nodded her head.
‘A wonderful sensation,’ she murmured.
At last our long journey came to an end and we found ourselves mingling with the throng in the Hall of Audience. Janet and I immediately started to greet some of our friends, but Reg walked on, silent and enthralled. There were many kindly, understanding glances cast his way. It was obvious that it was his first visit and so everyone left him to himself for a while, to gaze around him with ever-growing joy.
We spent quite a long time with some friends we had met during our Term of Reparation, and we were introduced to many others. Soon, looking round at our immediate circle, it seemed that we were surrounded with familiar faces. In the distance we could see Reg talking with some newly PurpleGowned. He had come out of his abstraction and was animatedly discussing all the wonders about him. Presently another joined them, wearing the Golden Sash and I saw Reg finger the ends of it with an interested air.
‘I wonder when he will be united to The One,’ Janet whispered. ‘Some seem to find each other quite soon. Others have to wait a long time – Richard for instance.’,
‘I suppose the desire does not arise at first,’ I replied. ‘Then The One may be still on the Term of Reparationor even on earth. However, I do not think it will be very long for Reg – look at him.’
Janet watched smilingly. The dear fellow still fingered the fringed ends of the sash, and he glanced down dreamily as though absorbed by some tender memory.
‘Perhaps he is awakening, even now.’
‘Perhaps,” I agreed. ‘Anyway, we will not disturb him. He is quite safe with his friends of the PurpleGowned for a while. Later, we can come back for him.’