"For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."
~ Acts 4:20
The other day I got up early and drove down to the beach on Galveston Island. It is a place where I can sit, listen to the waves as they break on the jetties, and watch as the miracle of the sunrise announces a new day. While I sit, I often find my mind wandering. It's a place where I can exist without a plan or purpose. Just simply, be present with me. No one calling. No newsfeed reminding me of the chaos in the world. Just me, and a few seagulls.
As much as I love these moments, I am also being reminded that there is "another place," being prepared for me.
Living in the present, and being faithful can bring about many challenges. But knowing that while I may struggle with the things in present, God is busy creating a place where I will spend eternity.
It's an interesting way to look at things.
Our faith, and even scripture, remind us that what we see and know now shall pass away... all of it. That there will be a new and amazing place we will call home. Our hearts and our souls long to be there.
So often as I sit with patients in their final moments, I am drawn in to watch and listen. Wondering what they are experiencing, seeing, and feeling. Sometimes I wish they could describe for me all of these things, but most of all, hoping for a glimpse of what is being revealed.
Years ago I was with a patient who got a glimpse of heaven. She described the most beautiful wooded park. She had grown up in one of the poorer parts of the city, and had lived her entire life within a 6 block radius, razing six children on her own, and working multiple jobs, never getting a break. I remember her opening her eyes widely, smiling, and telling me that she picked out a bench where she and I would talk about "this day, one day."
She then told me something that I can't wait to experience. "There is no such thing as time in heaven."
I immediately thought of the times when I have shared, "I don't have time for this." Of course there would be no such thing as time in heaven. That within itself would BE heaven.
I looked at my watch, and realized that I needed to get ready for a meeting. Once again, leaving this place, and entering back into the world that I currently live in. I looked back one more time.
For me, heaven will need to have an ocean, with waves that wash over the memories of this life. It will be home to family and friends that I have loved and now miss each day. The most amazing thing is that the voice I have felt calling me over the decades will be calling me by name, and I will be able to see into the eyes of the One who first saw mine.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
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.