Monday, February 23, 2015

A letter from heaven

(Years ago, after one of my church members died, I got a letter from her.  It came two weeks after her funeral.  It was hand written and quite a surprise!  A letter from a dead person would be a surprise to anyone.  She had written the letters months earlier and given them to her nephew to send out a few weeks after her funeral.  It was a wonderful letter, but much too personal to share here, so I have written my own version of such a letter....a brief fantasy of what a letter from heaven might be like.  Sadly, I'm sure it's much too human and lacks the glory of what a letter from heaven would really be like, but I hope it inspires you a bit anyway.  Enjoy.)

Dear Mike,

I’m sure you didn’t expect to get a letter from me, but I wanted to tell you how I’m doing since I died.

It’s been a little over a week since I left earth for eternity and I just had to send you a letter and tell you about it! 

When I arrived in heaven I was overwhelmed by the colors, the sights, the people, the dramatic difference from all I knew on earth.  Some of it I will try to explain, but much of it is beyond words and you will just have to see it for yourself.

I had planned to ask God a number of questions when I got here. In fact I had a good list ready, but when I arrived I realized how silly most of my questions really were and frankly, I have to tell you, I forgot most of them in light of all that I saw and sensed the moment I got here.

I’ve seen a lot of people here from all over the world and from different times in history.  It was a strange sensation to know immediately who they were…even though I had never met them…and find an instant bond with people of different language, color and time.  It was also wonderful and strange that we all could communicate with each other.  Our native languages suddenly became unneeded. And what surprised me the most is I knew everyone's name!  It was great!

On the second day I ran into someone who said, with a start of surprise, “What are you doing here?”  I know I blushed a bit, but we both laughed, hugged and visited for hours.  I noticed others I was surprised to see here as well.  Many who, if I told you their names, would surprise you that they made it into heaven.  I’ve been told I can’t reveal their names.  You will just have to be surprised like I was.

When I arrived I was immediately looking for the “pearly gates” and Peter with his book of admission.  I guess that came from the many cartoons I have seen over the years, but that wasn’t the welcome at all! When I arrived I found waiting for me friend, family and many I had shared the gospel with over the years.  It was a miniature family reunion!

They all took me to the throne to be welcomed by God himself.  I so wish I could describe him to you, but words are not enough…there are no words for it!  It was glorious, awesome, breath-taking….so much more wonderful than I had ever imagined.  And Jesus!  How glorious, how beautiful, what a smile.  He came up to me and gave me the biggest hug I had ever experienced!  I couldn’t believe it…my savior…in person…hugging me!!!!  It was wonderful!  (You will find that word is unavoidable here, but even “wonderful” is not enough for the glory you will experience.)

One sensation that I wondered about on earth was what would it “feel like” to be a spirit, a person disconnect from my body.  At first it was a bit unnerving, but suddenly I realized all the pain, the aches, the ills of my body no longer were an issue.  I felt great!  It didn’t take long to adjust to this new reality.

And I realized something else.  I suddenly realized that at least four things that were woven into my humanity my entire life were gone (I’m sure there are more, but I’ve yet to discover them)….I tried to sense them, feel them, experience them…but they were gone!  Fear, worry, insecurity and doubt were completely gone!!!  In that moment of time from earth to heaven the things that had been my constant companions and enemies did not follow me and I realized they were not here at all.  No one was fearful, even when the sites were overwhelming.  We all were like children on a Ferris wheel having the ride of our lives. And worry had evaporated.  I couldn’t muster up a good worry in spite of my best efforts.  After I bit I began to laugh at myself for my silliness.  Insecurity vanished as well.  Eternal security turned all my insecurities into a vapor. And finally, my great enemy and constant companion, doubt, was a distant memory! Now, all my doubts were gone because I had now seen and experienced reality!  My faith was real, it was founded on God’s promise and now I’m seeing it with my own eyes, touching it with my own hands, walking here with my own feet!  I am overwhelmed.

I have to tell you that it was like having thousands of pounds of weight taken off my shoulders.  For the first time since I could remember I was able to really think!  And not just to think about what was going on around me, but to really explore all of life and how God had worked in every moment of my life on earth.  In just moments the fabric of my life and God’s work in it became clear, as if a cloud had lifted, and now I can see the landscape of God’s plans and work.  He is so wonderful, so amazing!

I also want to encourage you that we aren’t all going to be sitting around on clouds playing harps.  I was much relieved by that insight.  When I was told of all that God had planned for me, of the fact that life, as I knew it, was just the beginning of God’s work in me, I was thrilled and I’ve been busy, fulfilled and happy every moment since I got here.

I wish I could use words to tell you about heaven, but you wouldn’t understand.  You have to see it, you just have to see it.  And the colors!  OH MY!  I never knew there were so many colors or that they could be so bright…and they almost seem alive.  Anyone who was an artist on earth will suddenly see where all the inspiration came from when they get here.  It all comes from heaven itself.  It’s just glorious!

I know I’m rambling a bit, but I assume you want to know about heaven.  I always did, but no one ever send me a letter.  Jesus told me I could send this out to a few close friends because even when you tell someone where it came from they won’t believe you and we will all giggle about it up here.

Anyway, before I close, I have to tell you about Jesus!  I mentioned him above (the hug and all) but he is beyond my words to describe….although I will try for your sake and faith.  He is beautiful, beyond words.  I saw his wrists and the scars, his side and the scar there too.  He smiled at me.  I thanked him for what he did and he told me,  “We love you so much that we would have done it all just for you, but isn’t it wonderful so many have said ‘yes’ to my gift of life?”

In his eyes I saw love, kindness, mercy, but I also saw strength.  His clothing was glorious and the crowns he wore made it clear he is king of heaven and earth.  I was a bit surprised that we all had access to Jesus.  No one had to wait in line, make an appointment or “get a number”.  We all were welcome in his presence anytime we wished to be with him.

So many questions have found their answers here.  I realize now that I wouldn’t have understood the answers on earth, but now I “get it”, now I understand what God was doing and all I can tell you is trust God.  He’s working all of this out for our good and his glory.  And, last, before I close, don’t worry!  God is more awesome, glorious, powerful, loving and grand than you can ever imagine and he loves us!  I’m still awestruck by his love, but I expect I will never get over that and it’s ok.  To be loved more than you can ever understand is quite a wonderful feeling.

Ok,  I have to run.  So much to do.  And relax!  God’s in charge, he loves you,  when you get here all your worries and fears will seem so silly.  Just know this- the sovereign God of the universe loves you.  Just look at the cross and you will begin to see how much.  I can’t wait to show you around.  See you soon.

Your friend and new citizen of heaven,


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