The sky splashed a brilliant pink and KBAQ was playing a Bach concerto as I rolled to a stop between the white lines in the parking lot at 5:30. The scene in the sky turned my thoughts toward Heaven and I thought of the conversation my Mom and I had when I was back home just recently.
We were scanning the obits, and she was lamenting the latest passing of one of her friends. That got us to talking about people who have passed on, and her Dad, my Grandpa. I told her that he is one of the first people I want to meet in Heaven. Besides Jesus.
He held me in his arms and called me his blond angel in German. I wonder if he was thinking of his little Annie who was only about four when she died. He had left the shotgun out and a foster child who was staying with them shot her dead. He ran away after that and they never found him, though they searched. My Grandmother had to watch her little girl die and my Grandpa had to live with that guilt all his life.
I love him, though I never knew him. He went to see Annie when he was in his sixties after a battle with stomach cancer. Shortly before he died, he said the only thing he wanted to do one more time was see Yosemite. Each year he drove the family there, he watching everything but the road and my Grandmother, terrified of going over the cliff would promptly put herself to sleep in the passenger seat.
My Mom says that when she and my Aunt reached their teens they were secretly mortified because they knew as soon as they set up camp he would be over introducing himself and Jesus to the neighbors. He had no problem sharing His faith. He wanted others to know the reason for his hope and the joy of the Savior.
I wish I could be more like him.
Shortly before my sister-in-law died, also of cancer, she said she saw my Grandfather and that they talked of roses. He told her he liked white ones. I don’t doubt what she said. I believe people close to death see many different things on that fringe of eternity.
This being a blog centered around Christian belief and thought, I guess from time to time I feel a need to explain in a simple way what we actually believe and why for those who may not know.
The thing that makes the Christian faith different from any other religion on earth is that we have a living Savior. It’s God reaching down to us, not us reaching up to Him. It’s Him making the first move.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God gives us a future and a hope. We never have to worry about death as long as we know Jesus. He only asks us to do one thing, to acknowledge that we can’t save ourselves. That whatever we’ve done on our own is not good enough. God expects perfection, and the only perfect person who ever lived was Jesus.
With three little words, the doorway to Heaven was blown open:
“It is finished.”
Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. Christ’s death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation. Hebrews 9:27,28 The Message
I don’t know about you, but I am not doing this life again. I am going to meet my Grandpa.