I mentioned in my last blog post that I’ve been reading a wonderful book about angels, demons, and NDEs (near-death experiences) called Encountering Heaven and the Afterlife. The portion of the book I began a few nights ago shares the stories of people who haven’t seen Heaven or its inhabitants, but have, undoubtedly, witnessed their loved ones taking in the wonders of eternity with their fading, mortal eyes.
At a time when I was pitifully asking, “What if…” and internally declaring, “If only…” regarding my father’s sudden death, this book helped remind me that our “days are determined” and that God has “decreed the number of [our] months and has set limits [we] cannot exceed” (Job 14:5). And while some people have stepped through Heaven’s glorious gates only to be sent back to this swirling sphere of dust, I cannot question the Lord’s purposes, doubt His reasons, nor dare to call His operations “unfair”; I can only trust that His plan is perfect, pure, and providential.
Each of the testimonies in the book come from reliable resources, according to the authors (although, what authors claim to include unreliable resources?), i.e., people the writers know or friends of close friends they know and trust. It seems like there is a plethora of “Heaven-and-Back” books being printed, doesn’t it? While it’s easy for me to secure my Cynic’s cap and chalk these incredible accounts up to imagination, exaggeration, even greed, the supernatural “God-winks” surrounding my dad’s departure strip me of any demand for empirical evidence and, instead, clothe me with benevolent folds of faith. (Having said that, I’m reminded of 1 John 4:1, which instructs us to “carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God.”) So “weigh” what I seigh ;-).
I’ll preface further by stating first that what I plan to post is just one of several incidents. Most of them I plan to, perhaps selfishly, share only with dear friends and family and carry in my heart until I hug my dad again. I’m persuaded that sometimes, the moment we share a God-given glimpse of eternity, it’s tragically cheapened, not just by skeptics’ condescending smiles, but by the simple fact that our audience hasn’t the capacity to feel the swells of awe sent crashing against our souls. How could they, the message wasn’t for them.
I personally believe that part of Heaven’s perfection will be an omnipresent sense of jubilation and wonderment, irrespective of your personal connection to the praise-worthy event; after all, it’s all about Jesus. In Heaven, we’ll each know exactly why our neighbor beside us is dancing in the street like a lovesick fool…because we’ll feel that way, too. Every song that emanates from the choruses of angels, every color that throbs radiantly upon each blossom and blade of grass, every task we put our hands to in the heavenly Zion will send the same thrill through our immortal veins, and no one will have to squeeze shut their eyes to imagine such splendidly unspeakable experiences (1st Corinthians 2:9).
If you haven’t seen God “wink” at you, that is, seemingly rend the heavens and break the laws of physics to reveal His presence and power in life’s darkest hours, it isn’t because He’s distant, cold, or unwilling. The Bible says we have not because we ask not (James 4:3). Ask the Lord to wink at you, not to prove Himself or His existence, but to simply pour out divine comfort and supply supernatural peace. If your request aligns with His will for you, He will, perhaps instantaneously, send a kaleidoscope of butterflies fluttering into your path (this has happened to me), or assign an angel to minister to you, disguised as one of us. I think you’ll be amazed at the small miracles you find showing up in the most unexpected and creative ways.
Stay fit, stay faithful ~<3 Di