What happens at the moment of death?
I imagine my guardian angel taking me by the hand and leading me away from my body, my family, my earthly life.
I imagine my arrival in heaven to be much like an experience I had during a women’s weekend retreat at my church a few years ago. At the climax of the retreat we were to enter the church and listen to a guest speaker deliver the final presentation of the evening. I remember the inside of the church was dimly lit as if by candlelight and there were people all gathered along both sides of the aisle as our group of women entered the sanctuary. (We were all emotionally vulnerable since we had been listening to testimonies of faith given by some incredible women over the past 24 hours. We had read heartfelt letters from family, friends, and neighbors who were praying for us during our weekend. We also had just finished having some magnificent solitary quiet time with our heavenly Father.) As we began our procession to our seats, the men and women on each side of the aisle greeted us with joyful smiles, most offered warm hugs and welcoming words. Some told us they loved us and had been praying for us. Others touched our shoulders or lightly squeezed our hands and simply smiled. This continued until we reached the end of the aisle and took our seats in the pews. It was very unexpected and overwhelming to say the least. As I took my seat, I had a moment to reflect on what had just happened. My first thought was “it would be wonderful if arriving in Heaven is like this!”
Imagine this: Once you arrive you will see many joyful, smiling, loving faces all looking at you. Some will be clapping, some will reach out to you, and others will be laughing and smiling, everyone is vying for your attention. You will notice a line of people on each side of an open walkway with a very bright glow of light in the horizon. The people gathered along the aisle would, at first, be the strangers that you prayed for, someone you gave a random smile to, someone you helped with a donation you made, someone you were kind to when you let them go in front of you in the grocery store check out line, someone you greeted as you passed by, you know just random folks whom you had a positive encounter with that you did not realize you made a difference in their lives no matter how insignificant the encounter. As you continue to proceed down the aisle, you would gradually begin to recognize familiar faces such as friends, neighbors, former classmates, and coworkers that throughout your life you shared a connection and appreciation for being in each other’s lives no matter how long the relationship lasted. Next would be your loved ones such as your spouse, your parents, and the child you may have lost in a miscarriage or to early death, your siblings, your aunts, uncles, cousins, and your best of friends. They would escort you into the light where you would finally meet our Lord and our God.
What would your arrival to Heaven look like?
As I continue to age, I expect my longing for Heaven will increase. I believe my eternal home and family will be waiting. I am beginning to get excited already!
1Corinthians 2:9: “but, it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—