Monday, December 17, 2012

How They Will be Greeted in Heaven

Today again, I had long planned a light-hearted post about the Christmas mug swap, but all I can think about is those families in Connecticut who are suffering the loss of their loved ones.  

A friend recently read this poem at her mother's funeral and it is something that I try to remember as those innocent little ones, and those brave women who did their best to protect them, make their journey to be held in the arms of the Lord.

I am standing by the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
and starts for the blue ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength,
and I stand and watch
until at last she hangs like a peck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, 'There she goes!'
Gone where?  Gone from my sight - that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
as she was when she left my side
and just as able to bear her load of living freight
to the places of destination.
Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,
'There she goes!',
there are other eyes watching her coming,
and other voices ready to take up the glad shout:
'Here she comes!"

I can picture them crossing into Heaven together holding hands and looking about in wonder.  And I can see the crowd of angels there to greet them.  I can see my great-grandma there with a platter of bright green finger jello and my great-grandpa saying "Now there's my friends!" and encouraging them all to join a game of wiffle ball or croquet.  I see my Grandpa D showing them all a sweet little chickadee eating calmly out of the palm of his hand.

Revelations tells us "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."

I see Jesus gently stroking their cheeks and wiping the last of the tears and leading them to their new rooms, which he has prepared so specially for each of them.  I see them eagerly asking questions a mile a minute as he patiently answers each.

Revelations also tells us this about the angels: "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.  Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.  Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.  The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.  For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water.  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."

I see them splashing in a great fountain joyously and proudly donning their pure white robes and golden halos much as they would put on costumes for their school play.  This is what I will try to remember each time I see their precious smiling faces in pictures and hear their sweet names.  

May the Lord watch over and soothe the hearts of their loved ones left behind and reassure them that they are now held gloriously in His loving arms.

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