Today, like so many days living in our temporary lives in our temporary house waiting for the promise of a better day I am put in the mind of the Southern Appalachians which is our home as the Rockies are.

One of the theologies that can be identified in the Southern Appalachian culture is based on the idea that this earth is a waiting place and that the true glory comes after one has passed on and greeted by Jesus and reunited with loved ones and can spend eternity in a safe place full of richness and glory and available delectable food. Whatever happens is unimportant and must be endured to attain the full measure of promised riches in heaven.

I don’t ever remember asking, or being told, if people sleep in heaven. If they do I bet they have the finest fluffiest down down comforters and electric warming blankets too.

We have the fluffiest down blankets and a heating blanket but our lives have a quality of that theology–when time has passed and we attain this high honor of returning home to a new home and everything will be wonderful. We could think of the house and regaining our lives back that way. When we just bet back home all will be well. That may be true but we have to live now so we cannot wait to find out.

This hymn has been rumbling around in my head all day. I was interested to see there are several versions.

  • Can the Circle Be Unbroken conveys a message that there is a push back, we are strong can anyone go against us and our belief in the goodness to come?
  • May The Circle Be Unbroken carries the question as to whether or not the circle could be broken..
  • Will the Circle Be Unbroken clearly implies that it can be unbroken and that someone can either break or not break the circle.

I believe that all three may be correct. Of course, in spirit time, all three could be happening simultaneously and not even related to each other. In the mundane world, the question is real and can, may or will are words that resonate with us on a daily bases. When our home is rebuilt and we are living within our own four walls, we can begin to assess what this experience of losing our home has meant. For now we can only examine it for what it is moment to moment. When one opens to that, the yearning for a better day to come, makes a sort of attractive sense.

Here are the words to the hymn.

Will The Circle Be Unbroken

There are loved ones in the glory,
Whose dear forms you often miss;
When you close your earthly story,
Will you join them in their bliss?


Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, by and by?
In a better home awaiting
In the sky, in the sky?

In the joyous days of childhood,
Oft they told of wondrous love,
Pointed to the dying Savior
Now they dwell with Him above.


You remember songs of heaven
Which you sang with childish voice,
Do you love the hymns they taught you,
Or are songs of earth your choice?


You can picture happy gatherings
Round the fireside long ago,
And you think of tearful partings,
When they left you here below:


One by one their seats were emptied,
One by one they went away;
Here the circle has been broken
Will it be complete one day?



scene of clouds, monntains overlooking burned area.