The world I had known for years was fading, slipping through my fingers at last. I felt my breathing slow and my heart rate drop with each beat. Drifting deeper into a black abyss, fear began to take hold. I don’t want to die! I thought desperately, clawing and fighting to cling to the life I knew. My family was by my side, but I could no longer hear them or feel their presence. But as if in a dream I heard my young granddaughter whisper, “It’s okay grandpa, I love you.” Suddenly the fear left me, and a warmth filled my being. I felt my soul lift from my body as though a bird being let out of a cage. Exhilaration and joy rose up and I nearly shouted. The warmth started to transform into light and I was greeted by many new and amazing sights, sounds, and smells.
I was standing in a dining room, large and welcoming. It was like I had finally arrived home after a long day of work. I took a step forward and was immediately surprised to find my bones and joints working as if I were 23 again. I heard laughter and barely concealed excitement to my right. One glance and I fell to my knees and wept, as before me seated at a long table was everyone I had ever lost. My mother and father, with tears shining on their cheeks, close friends that had lived life with me and passed on. My wife, who stood straight up from her seat and ran to my side, she looked the same as when I had first met her, beautiful and stunning. She lifted my face and wiped away my tears. “Welcome home, Michael.” She said, a smile lighting her face like the sun.
I stood up and she led me by the hand to the front seat of the long table. “We have been waiting for you son.” My father said. I took my seat and starred down the table, it was full of food that looked so delicious and fresh my mouth began to water. “You have waited here for me?” I asked shakily between tears. In unison, everyone answered, “Yes.” My best friend James, from childhood, stood up and called, “Jesus, he’s here!” A gasp escaped me as through the backroom doors a man ran through, “Michael!!” The man called, he ran to me and picked me up in his arms. I hugged him back and knew in my heart this was my God, my greatest friend in the life I had lived. We both wept in each other’s arms as the room erupted in joyous applause.
In the world above my body had been buried amidst many tears of sorrow and loss. People shared stories about me over another more somber dinner table. How I wish they knew what I was experiencing now. Sitting beside Jesus, sharing my life story with the very ones I had lost and missed dearly. Laughing like a kid and eating a celebration feast just for me. Talking about my children and granddaughter, giving praise to God for the life I had lived.
I wish I could tell you, explain to you in words what I am experiencing now…but another feast is being prepared just for you. Don’t be afraid, death is not the end but the beginning of eternal delight.
I have arrived, finally, I am home.
This image of a large table was revealed to me last year. I was just thinking of what heaven would be like, I asked God to show me a picture and that is when I saw it. A large wooden table topped with amazing food. Around the table were people I have lost, they were all smiling and laughing with joy. I could hear the sound of laughter and nature outside the windows and through the open back door. A beautiful sunlit day could be seen, and the smell of flowers and food greeted me. It was a comforting vision, and I believe in it. Heaven isn’t a place of harps and clouds, but a new home that is perfect, full of love, and God’s glorious presence. Heaven is joy unending.