and no torment will touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died.
Their departure was considered affliction,
and their travel away from us ruin;
But they are in peace.
For even if in the sight of men they are punished,
their hope is full of immortality.
Having borne a little chastening, they will receive great good;
because God tested them, and found them worthy of himself.
He tested them like gold in the furnace,
and he accepted them as a whole burnt offering.
In the time of their visitation they will shine.
They will run back and forth like sparks among stubble.
They will judge nations and have dominion over peoples.
The Lord will reign over them forever.
Those who trust him will understand truth.
The faithful will live with him in love,
because grace and mercy are with his chosen ones.
Wisdom of Solomon 3:1-9
This beautiful passage describes heaven. I particularly like the reference to the souls that, “will run back and forth like sparks among stubble.” I have never found any interpretation of this, but I assume it refers to St. Elmo’s Fire – static discharges in the winter-dry harvested wheat fields that probably mysteriously illuminated the night in ancient times.
(This passage may not be familiar to Jewish and Protestant readers. The Wisdom of Solomon is considered Apocrypha in those traditions.)
Image: Tim Daniels, Morning. www.lapseoftheshutter.com