Thursday, June 26, 2008
My contribution to Friday Fiction was written in honor of the Heavenly Homegoing of my late husband, Jim Brown. I tried to imagine what his introduction to Heaven would be like and wanted to bring a little part of that happy day to my heart. He was a wonderful husband and father, and though he wanted to stay with us, I knew that when he reached Heaven on September 26, 1995, his real life was only just beginning!To read more fabulous Friday Fiction, click here:Pattering's BlogAnd Again a Little While, You Will See MeToday is the banquet in my honor. I make my way through the crowd of family and friends as they congratulate me, kiss my cheeks, hug me and laugh.Hey, Jim! How’s it going, fella?”Big, burly Peter slaps me on the back. He pats my mid-section.“Looking good! You got your shape back pretty fast, didn’t you?” he teases.“Yep, I’m fit as a fiddle, Peter. The Lord says He’s never seen me looking so well.”Peter chuckles. “Yeah, this place has that effect on everyone.” He leans close, “All this happy living, right?”“You said it!” I reply with a smile.As I turn away, I hear sweet harp music float past my ear. I stroll to the door of the Gold Room and peek in. Yes, just as I thought. David is putting his all into a heavenly Psalm.I can’t help but watch him as he plays. His head is bent close to the strings, eyes shut tight. The corner of his mouth tilts up, as his left foot gently pats out the rhythm his head is hearing. My heart is content; I sigh.I amble down the hall to the Sapphire Room. Just as I enter, a loud guffaw greets me. Nobody laughs as heartily and freely as Paul. He’s telling a story while a few of Heaven’s finest men listen in: C. S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, Dietrich Bonhoffer, and Martin Luther. They smile good-naturedly. Lewis, seeing me in the doorway, waves his arm at me, and clears a space between him and Luther. I join them for a few minutes, telling my own version of my arrival in Heaven, and they laugh with me at my scrawny expectations.Eventually, I make my way to the Throne Room. I pause outside as I hear the praise begin to rise inside.When I finally push open the heavy doors, the power of the seraphim’s song comes down on me like a flood. The holiness and awesomeness of God press against my chest; immediately, my knees buckle. I fall to the floor, forehead against the cool marble, and begin to add my own praise to theirs. I lift my head and my hands, palms cupped upward, as my soul swells with gratitude. My voice grows louder and stronger.“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!” we sing.We raise the key a half step.“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!”We raise the key another half step.“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty!”Up, up, up the scale, until our singing thunders from deep within our souls. I sing His praise, my spirit soaring and sailing around the Author and Finisher of my Faith.As we sing, our voices fill the far corners of Heaven. People stop what they are doing. They raise their hands and start to praise Him saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb Who takes away the sins of the world!”They run to join us. Though they sweep toward the Throne Room with the force of a mighty wave, they fall to the floor under the power of the Lord as they enter.Time stands still. Together we praise the Creator over and over and over and over. The seraphim brush past us, leaving behind their heady scent; light, airy, mysterious. Their wings flutter over their faces.Suddenly, the Heavenly Host shout out their hallelujahs, and the trumpets swallow up our praise with the brassy bell of their sound. The atmosphere changes as the songs turn to Redemption. We clap our hands, wave them in the air, laugh and dance before the Lord.Finally, our hallelujahs grow soft. We bathe in God’s splendor; warm, loved, and accepted. Holy Light caresses us, softening our flesh, smoothing our faces.The gathering slowly disperses. We make our way out of the room, trembling in the nearness of the Holy One. Laughter swells among His people.My banquet resumes where it left off. I’m floating in a river of peace. Jesus, my brother, approaches, smiling as He nears me.“Well, Jim, what do you think of Heaven?”I shake my head, bemused.“I was sad when I left Earth. Sad for my wife. My son. But nothing can compare, Lord, to the Glory of this place. I’ll never be sad again!” I exclaim.We smile at one another, and turn back to the banquet. I just can’t wait to show my family around when they finally join me!