“In heaven,” I thought, “there must be even more spectacular light shows.” I recalled accounts of near-death experiences in which folks who had momentarily experienced heaven spoke of vibrant colors that don’t have names or even exist here. Compared to those colors, they said, our world seems monochrome. I climbed up a small embankment and spent a few moments gazing over rice fields at the setting sun and thinking about what you must be enjoying.
To my right a wave of angry dark clouds was rolling in, threatening to take over the sky completely. Again, I thought of you and heaven. There is something you won’t have any more of—the gloomy darkness that threatens to overtake our earthly existence and steal our joy. You’ve left that behind forever! Hurrah! “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”1 Turning away from the blackness to my right, a flock of birds soared across what remained of the sunset. Again, I smiled. Now there’s a part of heaven I can scarcely fathom! You’re not earthbound there. You can fly, unhampered by gravity or any other earthly limitation. I wonder what that feels like. I really don’t have a clue.
All of this got me thinking about you—not as I saw you last when your sickness had changed so much for us both, or even the happy memories of our lives together before that—but about you in heaven. That was something I had never been able to do before.
I passed a small boy, maybe five or six years old, carrying his baby brother as he staggered down the road. A little later I walked past an adorable toddler with pigtails and dimpled cheeks. She grinned at me cheerfully. Moments later a mother passed, holding her baby close to her side. Children. There’s something that heaven and earth have in common. And knowing your love for children and how you enjoyed caring for them here, I’m sure you’re surrounded by children there too.
I recalled another Bible verse describing heaven: “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain.”2 Well, we all know that’s something that can’t be said of this old world. “Hurt and destroy”—unfortunately we’re doing plenty of that! We hurt ourselves, we hurt others, and we’re destroying this wonderful world that God made for us to live in, care for, and enjoy. That’s not such a happy thought, really, and that’s a part of heaven we can’t experience yet, it seems.
But wait. There were more similarities between heaven and earth that I hadn’t thought of. Another verse came to mind—God’s promise to make all things work together for good in the lives of those who love Him.3 That’s all things, including the harm and pain that others have done to the world and to us, as well as the harm and pain we have done to others. Another touch of heaven on earth!
I was almost home when I thought of the greatest bridge between my realm and yours—love. Why hadn’t I thought of that sooner? Love is the magic that connects our worlds. And it is undiminished by time. I love you as much as I ever did, and although I miss your physical presence, your unconditional love is a constant that guides my life still. And there is the supreme love of Jesus, who will make such a wonderful future for us all, a place where we’ll be together forever, reunited at last.
If there are hues over there that defy description, then I know that love will also be magnified that much more, both Jesus’ perfect love for us all and the loving cords that bind us to those dearest to us, whether we are here or there.
It’s been nice today, thinking about you in heaven, Mom.
1. Revelation 21:4
2. Isaiah 11:9
3. Romans 8:28