“God’s in His Heaven; All is Right with the World”

Note:  If you were directed to this page by a search engine when looking for the source of the “God’s in his heaven” quote, please see Pantoufle’s comment (#5) below.  There, you will find the answer! :)

So yesterday I was whiny and grumpy and feeling sorry for myself because my Lutheran husband said he would not attend the Easter Vigil with me this coming Saturday at the Catholic church.

After I got it all off my chest in this blog, I had an opportunity later in the afternoon for some quiet reflection. I was reminded of this verse: “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” (Psalm 34:19). And so I spent some time praying and asking God to show me what to do.

He led me to read I John 3, where I read this:

“The way we came to know love was that he laid down his life for us; so we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers……Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (verses 16, 18)

(The footnote in my Bible suggests that this means we are to love and serve others even to the point of self-sacrifice.)

Then He sent me to Isaiah 5:

“Woe to those who tug at guilt with cords of perversity…..to those…..who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own sight and prudent in their own esteem!” (verses 18, 20, 21)

God does not feel sorry for me at all, you see. He is very practical.

By the time my husband arrived home from work, all my bitterness was gone. I also knew I was not going to drag him into a “discussion” about this or try to put him on a guilt trip to get him to change his mind.

Last year, when I was feeling especially torn over the fact that I was planning to become Catholic and my husband was not, the Lord had directed me to read the book of 1 Peter. Ever since, I have tried to always keep in mind his advice to wives, that we should be subordinate to our husbands, “that they may be won over without a word” when they observe our reverent and chaste behavior.

It’s not always easy to keep my mouth shut, but when I consider what my marriage would probably look like if I always said exactly what I thought (and if he did the same!), I am grateful for the gift of self-control. Our communication isn’t perfect, but at least we don’t fight all the time as some couples do.

Anyway, we had a very busy evening. The Cub Scouts meeting, which was supposed to be at someone else’s house, ended up being switched to our place at the last minute; so we were all frantically scrambling around picking up toys and getting things in presentable order before the boys came over. (In the end, only one other kid showed up—it was a very small meeting, but they had a lot of fun playing games with plastic Easter eggs.)

By bedtime, I thought everything was okay. But I had the strong sense my husband wanted to say something. He went to bed at the same time I did (which he just about never does), and he was lying there scowling for a long, long time. Perhaps he was expecting me to scold him or beg and plead. Perhaps he was planning his defense. Perhaps he was trying to think of a way to explain himself without making me upset. Perhaps he was trying to get up the courage to say he’d change his mind.

Whatever it was, I have no idea, because he did not speak. And neither did I. I only prayed and prayed (silently, of course) that the Lord would soften his heart and change my own so that I would be able to love him with the kind of love Jesus has for him. I wanted to say something: “Are you okay? Did you want to talk about something?” But I kept silent. It just felt like the right thing to do. You see, usually I am the one to initiate conversations about “big stuff.” And I’ll talk and talk (stereotypical woman, to babble on and on) while he says nothing. Then I’ll ask him what he thinks, and he won’t have anything to say—except sometimes, when he’ll manage a very few thoughts. But my point is that if he has some thoughts he wants to share about this current situation, I think it would be best if he shared them of his own accord, when he is ready, not because I made it my business to pry them out of him.

The fact is, this whole situation—me being Catholic, him still being Lutheran—is still very new to our family. It’s going to take us some time to sort things out and get used to it all. My attending the Lutheran church with him every week might not be the best arrangement; but unless and until I feel God asking something else of me, I will have to keep doing it.

In the meantime, I have reconciled myself to attending the Easter Vigil on my own. I certainly won’t be the only one. There are two ladies from my RCIA class who I know will be there without husbands—one is divorced, the other’s husband does not attend church at all. I can sit with them. And the Mass will still be beautiful. Christ will still meet me there, in the words from Scripture and in the Eucharist. The Easter Vigil is the holiest night of the year. And nothing will keep me from rejoicing in it.

Thanks be to God.

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Blessings to you in this Holy Week.

    My husband didn’t attend the Vigil in which I was received into the Church, and he did not come into the Church himself until five years later (and for four of those five years I was convinced it would *never* happen.) :-) Prayers for both of you and for your family.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Guy on March 20, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Did a web search on the quote about God being in heaven and all being right with the world. That quote was used in the anime
    series NEON GENESIS EVANGELION (not a Christian story but it did have some Christian symbolism). I’m a convert to Lutheranism.
    I suppose my friend Randy would want me
    to convert to Orthodoxy. And I guess another
    friend might want me to convert to Roman Catholicism. I do value the Roman Catholics friend’s insight on bioethics. He is a physician. He used to be a CEO (Christmas Easter Only) Catholic. But became a practicing Catholic over time. I have another Roman Catholic friend who is a convert from Lutheranism. She used to be a school teacher, but now works at a tutoring center.
    I remember writing an email comment about head coverings that I had seen at a Church of the East congregation. The Roman Catholic tutor poster her argument in favor of the head covering and my Presbyterian friend responded “Amen.” And my Orthodox friend mentioned the practice of head coverings at his church. While I am not convinced about the head coverings, it was interesting to see agreement among different denominations.

    Reply

  3. Hi Karen,
    Your story gives me hope; thank you so much for sharing it. My husband didn’t attend my Confirmation, either (which was in October, not at the Vigil), but that was understandable. I think he is just still very uncomfortable with the whole deal of my being Catholic—actually sitting in a Mass is more than he can do right now (I think he felt very out of place at Christmas). But I’ll keep praying! I have visited your blog recently (love that header!) and plan to check it out again soon. Thanks for stopping by mine! God bless you and yours this Easter!

    Hi Guy,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! I had no idea where that quote came from; it just seemed appropriate for the day. Of course, in truth the world is really a great big mess, but when we consider the sovereignty of God, then all really does become well, after all. :) I converted to Lutheranism before I ever even had any desire to know more about Catholicism. There is much to like about the Lutheran church. I remember how intimidated I was, at first, by the liturgy, the “peace be with you”s, going up to the front for Communion (and having it twice a month, no less!). But once I got used to it, I loved it. I have always felt so WELCOME in the Lutheran church—people are so friendly there. But of course, eventually I found it was not enough. I am always interested in hearing/reading what other denominations believe and finding all the ways we are alike and different. Your comment about the head coverings was interesting. Nice to hear from you. Have a blessed Easter!

    ~ Kimberly

    Reply

  4. Posted by Kathy Klavon on May 7, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Hi Kimberly
    Wow, it seems that we have some things in common. I feel like God has sent me directly to you. :o)
    I was born a Catholic in a (non-practicing) in name only family. My husband and I will be married 16 years on June 20th! We have 3 children, 16, 14, and 6. When we met, both of us we’re God centered/spiritual people. We decided to look for a church together and eventually agreed on a Lutheran church that we liked. Indeed, the Lutheran’s can be very friendly and warm – so it felt like a good idea. We were married in the Lutheran Church, being welcomed to get married while I was pregant with our first son. I refused to get married until our son was born. We loved the church, until I had an experience that made me question my faith – and leave. My heart was never at peace until I could be reconnected with my spiritual life – so, I decided to go back to the Catholic church. This was the beginning of a kind of disconnect between us. I never really thought that it would be the way that it is now (for me). I have been blessed to have my husband support my Catholicism, and even raising our children as Catholics. Two of the three were baptised as Lutheran! Anyway, my husband has always been so gracious about letting me have my way. His goal, as mine has always been that our boys be raised with a strong faith in God. He has attended mass with me for all these years. Up until recently, I believe because I have been talking about Eucharist and the belief that only Catholics should take it in the church. I mean, I used to take Communion at the Lutheran church without regard to anything. And so, it is my belief that he should be able to take Eucharist at our church even though he is not Catholic. (I am not looking to get yelled at by any other bloggers here) So, I think I have pushed him into going back to the Lutheran church. It’s not like he ever had any intention of becoming Catholic, but over the years, I thought that it would rub off on him and he would want to. As my Catholicm continues to mature, I feel that I am becoming more defensive. I find an overt dislike for Catholics, and I never really felt that so strongly before. It makes me sad, and yet – I wish people honestly understood the purity of our faith. I think they would have a greater appreciation of it altogether. Nonetheless, I appreciated reading your blog. It would be great to get to talk to someone who can understand what I feel. It is a unique experience to be in a “mixed denomination” marriage. I hope you had a very Blessed Easter Vigil. I pray that your husband opens his heart and will come to support you. After reading your blog, I have seemingly been not so loving to mine – I’ve been smug and self-rightous. I loved what you said about (Peter 1). I never shut up or stop making him feel like crap when I am trying so hard to convince him of something. He on the other hand is always so loving and so gracious to me. His heart has shown me Christ much more than I have to him. When I think of this, it makes me sad. You have given me something to think about! I am so grateful to have found you this day. God’s Blessings for your life and marriage – and may you be filled with Peace and Serenity about your choice to be Catholic. I pray that someday my husband convert so we can experience our faith in the same way. We are going to go to a Marriage Encounter in September. I look forward to learning how to hold up my end of the deal. LOL.
    Peace and Love,
    Kat
    Feel free to email me anytime!

    Reply

    • Katghy

      It’s all bunkum

      Don’t worry about it. There is no god. Jesus doesn’t give a stuff about you. He’s dead. He’s not coming back. You’re not a filthy rag. You don’t need to be forgiven by a ghost.

      Justify yourself by logic, not faith.

      Free yourself of this nonsense.

      Read your bible through verse by verse and discover what nonsense it is.

      Read Genesis 19:30.

      Spend your Sunday’s going fishing, playing sport, having picnics, exploring the world. Locking you and your kids up in a church with catholic deviants is definitely not liberating.

      Is your priest a paedophile? High likelihood he is. Keep your scildren well away from him. Does he wear a frock? Does his boss wear a frock and red shoes? Never a good sign.

      How long are you going to wait for Jesus to come back?

      You are the victim of a monstrous fraud.

      Read your bible. Find out the truth and then let it set you free.

      Regards

      John Miller

      Reply

  5. Posted by Pantoufle on May 8, 2008 at 9:57 am

    I’m sorry to comment on an older post, but I only just started reading your (great) blog today… and though I’m usually the lurker type I just absolutely have to correct the misunderstanding about the origins of that quote.

    It’s actually from Robert Browning’s work PIPPA PASSES (sorry Guy).
    The longer passage goes like this:

    The year’s at the spring,
    And day’s at the morn;
    Morning’s at seven;
    The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
    The lark’s on the wing;
    The snail’s on the thorn;
    God’s in his Heaven -
    All’s right with the world!

    as far as I know, Browning was a Christian and really meant this (with the capital G and everything).

    Reply

  6. Pantoufle,
    I don’t mind your commenting on an old post at all. Feel free to comment anywhere you please! I’m glad you like my blog. It’s so interesting to me to “meet” new friends this way and find out that there are all sorts of people reading.

    I had no idea where that “God’s in his heaven” quote came from, myself. I just knew that it fit my situation on that day, so I used it. :) Thank you so much for setting the record straight about where it comes from. There are so many people who want to know—I know this because I’ve had SO MANY hits to my blog from people who type that quote into a search engine and wind up here! Now with your quoting the entire passage, they will be able to have their answer.

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Reply

  7. Kat,
    Thank you so much for your comments. I feel so honored and humbled that you would discover my blog and be so inspired by it—that it would help you in your efforts to communicate better with your husband about faith matters. Wow.

    Your story is so interesting to me…..I think I might just e-mail you so we can chat more. I understand that “disconnect” you mention between you and your husband since you decided to return to the church of your babyhood. This is the same thing I have experienced. It’s so frustrating to see the truth and beauty of the Church yet not be able to get the person most important to us to see it too. I have to work VERY hard at keeping my mouth shut, believe me! :)

    I hope you will visit me often here at Echowood. I will drop you a line via e-mail soon, too.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog! God bless you!

    Reply

  8. Posted by jbdean on August 22, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    My thanks to Pantoufle, too! I am shocked that a verse from such a famous poet as Browning didn’t come up on the first page of my search when I Googled the quote. It was surprising that this blog came up first on the list out of everything! So now I know and … “All’s right with the world!” :D

    Reply

  9. Good on you and your husband.

    You’re both wasting your time with all this religious bunkum, particularly the Catholic cult.

    In your comfort read Genesis 19:30 where Lot rooted his daughters. This is what your God believes in. Standing by watching a man get drunk and root his daughters.

    You’re both victims of indoctrination into a dreadful fascist cult when you were young.

    I spent all my childhood on Sunday sitting to vapid church services being brainwashed.

    Then, when I was about 50 I found that god so loved the world he drowned everybody. Moses murdered 3000 of his parishioners who disagreed with him. Your god stood by anbd watehed as this happened. What sort of love for mankind is that.

    The god Baal was a god that made as much sense to farmers as did Yahew. Those that were left had 3000 reasons to believe in him.

    Read your bible carefully. Underline the barbaric behavior, the incest, the rape, the murders. Read Paul – a complete arsehole. It’s all there to control people. And once the State got hold of it the control became absolute.

    The Catholic Church – flat earth, inquisitions, women hating, controlling. I don’t know how women can go any where near that cult. They are treated abominably. Little boys still being sexually abused. Priests sitting in confession boxes and behind alters jerking themslves off. it’s a dispicable cult. No wonder your husband won’t go near it.

    The truth that sets you free definitely doesn’t emanate from a Catholic church pulpit.

    So, I was searchoing for ‘All’s right with the world.’ Well all is not right with the world and all is definitely not right with the Catholic Church. They have you believe that a man is good. They have you believing that if you wait long enough he will come back again. You’re the victim of a monstrous fraud. Your prayers to Lucy in the sky with diamonds are useless – she’s dead.

    Jesus couldn’t give a stuff about you either. He’s dead. You;re wasting your time. Go fishing on Sunday. Take those kids to the playground. You’ll get more out of it than forcing them to sit in church.

    If Paul had said ‘justification by logic’ we’d all be better off. Faith in ghosts is not logical. It stops people from having faith in themselves. You’re probably bringing those kids up to believe the world is on;’y 10,000 years old for chrissakes.

    Here’s some of Paul’s nonsense.

    Why, nature itself teaches you that long hair on a man is a disgrace.
    1 Corinthians 11: 14

    Strange then that every picture of Jesus Emmanuel has him wearing long hair.

    It is a disgraceful thing for a woman to speak in church.
    1 Corinthians 14:35

    Women should learn in silence and all humility. I do not allow them to teach or to have authority over men; they must keep quiet. For Adam was created first, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived; it was the women who was deceived and broke God’s law.
    1 Timothy 3:5

    Your real life is Christ and when he appears, then you too will appear with him and share his glory.
    Colossians 3:1-4

    Ah, but he hasn’t re-appeared yet.

    Slaves are to submit to their masters.
    Titus 2: 9

    … there are many whose lives make them enemies of Christ’s death on the cross. They are going to end up in hell.
    Philippians 3: 18

    LINKING RELIGIOUS DISSENT WITH COMMON CRIMINALITY
    It must be remembered of course that laws are made, not for good people, but for lawbreakers and criminals, for the godless and sinful, for those who are not religious or spiritual, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the immoral, for sexual perverts, for kidnappers, for those who lie and give false testimony or who do anything else contrary to sound doctrine.
    1 Timothy 1:9

    That is just crap. Laws were made well before Yahew was invented by Abraham – the Baghad skitzo.

    So the one who came down is the same one who went up, above and beyond the heavens, to fill the whole universe with his presence.
    Ephesians 4:10

    The whole universe? We’ve gone a long way out but haven’t sighted him yet. Maybe we need to go further.

    Remember there will be difficult times in the last days.
    2 Timothy 3:1

    Life is difficult. What’s new? Last days eh!

    Last days? Very long lasting days.

    If you want proof of the Pauline fraud look no further. He was certainly not living in the last days.

    I wish that the people who are upsetting you would all go away; let them go on and castrate themselves.
    Galatians 5:12

    We know that an idol stands for something that does not really exist; we know that there is only the one God (who does not really exist).
    1 Corinthians 8:4
    No mention there that the god pul invented is an idol – in the mind.

    … so we believe that God will take back with Jesus those who have died believing in him.
    Colossians 4:14
    If you believe that you’d believe in fairies at the bottom of the garden.

    Regards

    John Miller

    Reply

  10. Dear John,

    I debated with myself, for about two minutes, whether or not to approve your comments. On the one hand, this is my blog, and your comments are pretty much offensive to everything I believe in. On the other hand, this is a public space, and you took the time to share your thoughts with me (and with my readers), so I feel it would be rude to just ignore you. And then, like Tevye from “Fiddler on the Roof,” I found yet another hand to consider that your comments perhaps don’t do justice to your intelligence and that maybe you’d later feel bad for having written them and wish you could take them back. But actions have consequences; and you, as a logical person, surely took that into consideration when submitting your remarks. And so I allow them.

    Your experience and views are certainly not unique, and I’m not surprised by anything you have said. But neither do your comments shake my faith. Just as I can’t convert my husband to Catholicism simply by giving him the standard apologetics arguments, you won’t convert me to your anti-God religion (or whatever you want to call it) simply by quoting Bible verses to me and telling me Catholicism is a cult and that I’ve been brainwashed. You have to show me how your chosen beliefs have enriched your life and made you a better and happier and more fulfilled person. THEN I *might* consider it.

    [Let that be a lesson to all of us, truly; if we want others to convert, we have to let them see how our own conversion has affected us for the better!]

    I have read the entire Bible, and I study it on a regular basis. It is a crazy, confusing bunch of writings, for sure. Some of those Old Testament stories really do make my hair stand on end. But they need to be understood in the broader context of who God is, who we are, and what He and we have done throughout history. Honestly, I think just about any part of the Bible, taken out of context, would make an anti-God person out of anybody. Thankfully, we don’t have to be left adrift. Thankfully, Christian faith is not handed down through the words of a mere book but by people who have actually lived the faith and experienced its effect on their lives.

    If you have a happy and beautiful life, believing as you do, then you are free to revel in that and be glad. You don’t sound particularly happy to me, though. You sound bitter and disillusioned. Trying to pull others down into the same muck you are in is not going to make your situation any better in the long run. I hope you will care enough for yourself and your loved ones to aim higher than that.

    All the best to you, John.

    ~ Kimberly

    Reply

    • Posted by Judith on January 14, 2011 at 12:01 am

      Kimberly, I was just about to call John an imbecile but I kept reading and what you wrote was so much kinder. I totally agree with you, although I am not Catholic, that John seems to be a miserable, bitter man. How could he NOT be when thinking like that and living outside God’s provision. He’s obviously never studied the Bible with any depth and just pulling verses out of context to mean whatever he wants them to. I am a Christian for 40 years and studied many religions and also know and have atheists in my own family so I have studied how they view things as well. I want to end this saying that I’m glad I didn’t do the first thing that came to my mind and will I will be praying for you, John Miller, instead……along with the other non-believers in my families and friends.

      Reply

  11. Posted by Karl on April 23, 2010 at 9:40 am

    Dear John,

    I am sorry your experiences have led you to his spiteful and vitriolic attitude about God and religion. My life experiences have lead me to the Truth and it has given me life joy and set me free. You suggest, in your first post, reading the Bible and finding out the Truth. I also suggest that to you. Read with an open mind and open heart. If you are really searching for the Truth and not just for isolated verses that knit together can make a case for almost any position you wish to take, I believe you will indeed find it. I am, in fact, positive that the revealed Truth will set you free. Blessings John.

    Karl

    Reply

  12. I am not a Catholic nor indeed a Christian (I am an atheist), but John Miller has a lot to learn about religion and cults and fascism, not to mention manners. I rather think he is a young man with nothing better to do than write offensive posts. Your tolerance shows up his intolerance.

    Robert Browning, by the way, was probably an agnostic (he was much influenced by Shelley – an atheist – as a young man),

    Reply

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