In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation."
~ Isaiah 25:9
I was thinking back about some of the patients I have been with as they have stepped from this life into eternity.
I won't forget one amazing woman, early 50's, with six children surrounding her, dying of cancer. Her smile, and the smiles of her children were one. A deep faith had been instilled, and even the youngest, nine years old, talked of heaven as a real and tangible place.
Their mother had gone to a 24 hour clinic to get something for a nagging cough. No insurance. No well-woman check ups. If one of the children got sick, they received care immediately. She was their mother, and put herself second, third or sixth, always.
She came out of the clinic with a terminal diagnosis.
All would tell her it was, "too late."
Within two months I was beside her as she made her way to heaven. While she traveled between earth and heaven, she would wake enough to say something.
"Remember to love each other," she told her children.
"There is nothing so bad that you can't talk to one another."
"Do well in school."
"Remember to respect others."
The last words of a mother would have lasting effects.
She looked at me and shared, "And I have found the perfect park bench that we will sit and talk about this day in heaven."
I thought of what she must be seeing as she looked past me, but spoke to me.
"I love the thought of heaven, and can't wait, but I hope I have more time here."
She responded, "You know something wonderful about heaven? There is no time."
"That would be heaven," I remarked.
Within the hour she had gone. We sang songs and prayed in her dying moments.
Her passing made me realize that there is no "after life."
There is nothing that holds us to such words as before or after in a place that has always existed, and that will continue to exist.
Our ability to embrace the heavenly eternity is held within the boundaries we have created known as time. What a blessing to know that there is a place where we will no longer know age, and be touched by the hands of time.
Death frees us from the boundaries of chronology and brings us into God's "time," which is timeless.
For us living within the spectrum of time, we must have faith and trust that the life awaiting us in Christ is real. God's heart and mind are greater than ours, and that includes the ability to create a timeless place for us to dwell.
How do we measure time..."in daylight, in sunsets, in midnights, cups of coffee..." (from Rent)
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.