A Friend of Jesus
PURPLES SKIES & TWINKLING STARS
Quiet Reminders to Keep Pressing Forward
This weekend was our memorial service for my sister Jennifer. I'm home now and recovering from jet lag and the emotional roller coaster you ride during times like this. It's all good, as they say. The jet lag is more of a nuisance than the emotions. Dry airplane air, mask nazis at TSA and cramped quarters have caused my body to feel a bit like I crawled out of a cocoon and I'm waiting for my wings to fully dry out. Bleh, is the only word for that sensation.
Last evening at sunset I took Wagsley out for his twilight stroll. As I exited my apartment the western sky was red, orange and dark blue. The sun was gone but the colors were still there and so rich. As we walked around the dog park I looked towards the East and noticed that the sky was a deep shade of purple. and there were bright twinkling stars appearing. I don't usually see stars and there weren't as many as all that, but it was such a beautiful sky caused me to think of Jennifer.
Her favorite color, as I may have mentioned, was purple. For years since were were kids she always loved any shade. I smiled up at the sky and said, "Yes, I see it. Show off." I know God gives us these reminders of family who have gone on before us, and I wonder if they don't have a hand in these gentle promptings as well. The unexpected sunflower, the purple sky, the sticky honey on the counter, or the smell of a family recipe fresh out of the oven. Yes I know these are common occurrences. There are those who believe that family see us from heaven. I tend to agree with this, because there are so many unexplained coincidences throughout life. Most are just random and to me, can be explained no other way.
I read a social media post by a nurse who said that she had cared for many people during their last hours on earth and one thing was common, they always saw family who had passed on before them. She felt that the family were bringing comfort and were there to escort the dying to their heavenly home. I don't really know, but I do know that my mother talked of seeing people in the room who weren't there, and my father on occasion would smile while looking at an empty room.
I am reminded of the glimpses of heaven that the Bible shares with us. In particular the story of the beggar Lazarus and the rich man, who died around the same time. Lazarus found comfort at last with Abraham and finally lacked for nothing. The rich man was suffering greatly because of his selfishness. The thing that is so amazing is that they could see each other. There was a divide, but apparently that divide was not so far that Abraham could not hear the rich man speaking. Lazarus didn't speak. We aren't told if he just was at such peace that the torment of the wicked went unnoticed, but maybe his focus was on the respite he was finally experiencing in the arms of Abraham.
Another thing that is interesting is the concern that the rich man had for his brothers. This was very interesting to me. He wanted them to be warned to change their ways. Every argument he made was dismissed by Abraham. More than any of that, it tells me that those we love here on earth will still be known to us on the other side. So why not imagine them reaching out?
Imagine Jesus handing these gifts to our loved ones and telling them, "In heaven, child, anything is possible. You can't be with them physically, but I'm giving you this ability touch them any time you want to, in any way you can. If they are watching, they will see you, like they see me." Did he give Jennifer a paint brush and the authority to paint a purple sky at will? Did he give my mother a basket of sun flower seeds to plant and cause to bloom at just the right time? Did he give my father a jar of honey to spill on the counter as a gentle reminder and a bit of a joke?
Are you missing a musician? Imagine Jesus handing them a violin and they play a familiar tune in your ear that only you can hear. Are you missing a pilot? Imagine Jesus handing them a bag full of never-ending fluffy white clouds to fill the blue sky. Are you missing the hand of your best friend on your cheek? Imagine Jesus giving them them a horn filled with a gentle breeze to blow across your face as you walk. Did that make you giggle?
I believe that our imagination, which is unique to humans, is God's way of encouraging us every day. So why not use that power of prestidigitation to remember those who are waiting for you in heaven. It has brought comfort, unexplained laughter, and yes the occasional tear to my eye. As I walked this morning with these thoughts in my head and this blog on my mind, there was a soft breeze and the leaves in the trees were showered down on my path. That was Jesus. I know this because, He is the only one who knows that I love the gentle twist and turn of falling leaves. He showers me with gifts of reminders of His great love, to bring me fond memories of all He has done for me, and focus me on who I am - a child of the most high God!
I encourage you today, if you are missing someone, to keep your eyes open and your heart vulnerable. They are living their greatest adventure but they see you. They remember you. Jesus has unleashed the playful side of them and given them permission to remind you that your greatest adventure awaits. There is no fear! Enjoy the time you have here, but always remember what the destination is and who you will see when you get there.
Can you see them zooming around the world yelling "YIPPEEEE" at the top of their lungs as they touch everyone they know with these gentle reminders.
1 Peter 5:7 "Casting all your care upon him; for he cares for you."
Hebrews 6:19 "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and reliable and one which enters within the veil,"
1 John 2:25 "This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life."