But many who are first will be last, and the last first. (Matthew 19:30)

Perhaps heaven dwellers look on the veil over earth and see only glimpses into our gray turmoil. They’re probably no more interested in our routine goings-on than a skydiver is interested in reading the phonebook. Their side has all the excitement.

Heavenly values are reversed on earth. The places and beings that shine the brightest glory in paradise mean little to us. Yet, if someone in heaven were to look into our world, they could spot our rare sources of glory.

An angel peered through the glassy curtain, but our theater-like darkness hid the details. His eyes were accustomed to the light of the throne. He began to discern shapes and movement. A politician lunched with a religious leader, they were a gray haze. In our skyscrapers, cathedrals, and all Seven Wonders of the World, he saw crumbling heaps.

With a start, the angel glimpsed a streak of color in the distance. A beam shot past our atmosphere, beyond Pluto, and into the farthest stars. It effervesced in purple and gold splendor across the universe. Beings of every celestial species applauded.

Curious about the source, the observer flew to ground zero. A wheezing old woman, disfigured by a birth defect, hunkered on the floor. Cold in her rags, she prayed for those who had tormented her when she was a youth. She loved them because Jesus loved her.

The angel burst into celebration, sang with the volume of a thousand voices, and zipped in figure eights above the women’s head.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, lift up those who have been last, but who loved you most.