Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Faith Shall Be My Eyes

Heaven has been on my mind a lot lately. I have three friends who are all observing the anniversary of their mother's early death. Two, not related, each lost their mamas 20 years ago. I knew one of the mama's. The other one I did not. I also have a friend in the UK who lost her mum 10 years ago. I can't pretend to know how it feels. I have not lost a parent. My Dad has struggled with poor health pretty much all of my life. Considering the fact that I'm pushing that mark between 30 and 40 (notice I just didn't really want to type out the actual numbers:), that means he's been struggling for a long time. It's still not the same.

I may have said this on here before. I can't remember. Other than salvation itself, one of my favorite "perks" of following Jesus is the knowledge that our loved ones who also know Him will join us in eternity. That's such a comforting thought.

Please, know that I am in no way downplaying the hurt and sadness of missing someone you love while you remain here on earth and they have gone before. I'm sure it's a pain that's there for the rest of your earthly days. I think it took 10 years before I finally quit picking up the phone to let Grandma Katie know some piece of interesting news. Literally. I picked up the phone, dialed a couple numbers, and then realized she probably wasn't going to answer. Missing a parent would be more far more acute, I'm sure.

I'm going to share a very personal dream I had when Grandma died. For a few days we had all been spending time together waiting for the funeral. There was an extra day of calling hours as we waited, in part to allow time for a family member to return from another country. As some of the cousins reminisced, we speculated about whether she could see or hear us. The night before her funeral, I had one of the most vivid dreams of my life. Grandma Katie was talking to me. I could see her face as clearly as I had my whole life. I asked her about the questions we had considered. She said that it wasn't all the time, but if she really focused in, she could see and hear whatever we were doing. It was clear that she wasn't omnipresent as God is. She could only focus on one at a time. Her final words in the dream were the most profound. She gave me one of her wide grins that lit her entire face and said, "but I can reeeeally hear you singin'!" You see, Grandma loved to sing and to hear her family sing. She would slide from alto to soprano and back again. Often she wasn't exactly on key, but she let it rip! Of course that's what she would focus on if she had the ability. Often when I sing, especially when it's about Heaven, I smile with a tear knowing that she's listening. Granted....this was a dream. I feel, though, that it was also a gift. When I shared it with my other grandparents, my Grandma Eichorn quickly agreed it was a word from the Lord. I tend to agree. I said, I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Without any searching on my part, two forms of media have really struck me this last week. One a poem, the other a song. If you at all have time after reading this long post, listen to the song, but also walk away pondering the poem. It's true that Heaven will be a joy that we can't imagine. As the poem points out, though, we aren't there yet. We can long for it, but I've been very challenged this week with the fact that while we long for the peace and freedom from heartache that is Heaven, we still have work to be done here.

Here's the song. The poem is below.

Breathless Tales
I would rather
clutch my invitation
and wait my turn
in party clothes
prim, proper
safe and clean.

But a pulsing hand
keeps driving me
over peaks
and spidered brambles.
So, I’ll pant
up to the pearled knocker
and full of tales.
by Janet Chester Bly


Mary said...

Love the poem. How sweet and reassuring it is to have a Savior who promises us eternity with Him. Sweeter still...He's walking with us as we get there. We too are looking closely at the coming anniversary of mom's passing. Just a few weeks away...but just as she taught us to do...we do not dwell on sad things. We rejoice in all the life that she produced in and through us. My most precious memories of her are seeing her serve others. Surely she knocked on that gate with an excited smile for all that she had to tell.

You had shared the dream with me before but I'm so glad you posted it.

Rosetta said...

What a beautiful and meaningful post! I liked the poem, enjoyed hearing about the dream; but couldn't get the song to come up.
Between Heather's post and yours and the upcoming one year anniversary of a certain 98 year old's death~I, too, have been thinking of heaven a lot recently.
I also think of those struggling with health issues-some ready to go, one in particular I'm sure is not-and I am reminded again to keep praying.
Thanks for sharing, Cheryl. These blogs are an inspiration and encouragement to me!

Sherri said...

Wow, what an amazing dream! Thanks for sharing that special memory given straight to you by the Lord.

What a day that will be when we meet up with our loved ones again in heaven! What awesome hope we have!

Beautiful post, Cheryl!

Mary said...

Tomorrow marks one month since you've posted.