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
There is something about sitting with someone as they are dying as the viel between this world and the next begins to fade away and the two seem to become one. A friend of mine referred to this time as having, "One foot in this world, and the other gladly in the next."
Years ago now I sat with a woman who was going through her transition and as she moved from this world to the next she opened her eyes, looked at me and shared, "I have just seen heaven. It is more than any of us can imagine. I picked out a bench in the most amazing park and you and I are going to sit and talk about this day together when you get there!"
Her remark was said to me with conviction and her face seemed to glow as she continued on about what she had seen.
I stumbled a bit over my words and I said, "It sounds amazing, but I hope that it is many years down the road for me."
Now that I think about my remark, I sounded like a real "stick in the mud," kind of guy.
She just smiled and said, "Guess what I've already learned about heaven as well? There is no such thing as time in heaven."
I just remember smiling and saying, "Now that, would be heaven."
Finding our way to this place is our own journey, but it is open to all. Since that day I have had many people share of what they have seen and felt as they have moved from their last breath here to their first within the next.
It doesn't keep me from wondering about my own journey, "last day," here in this life and what I hope it will be like. Knowing that it will be filled with new experiences leaves me both excited and filled with wonder.
"The Kingdom of God is at hand," John declares in the wilderness, but even for the One seeking a place to appear in our world must have been filled with many of the same feelings that we have about entering the next.
For me, it is the realization that Christ made both the journey to us, and then encountered death as well. Christ provides for us the living and dying illustration of God's love, promises, and hope that we all will need when we, too, begin to make our way as we transition.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.