It is my sincere prayer that we all live long, happy, healthy and productive lives. One day, hopefully well into the future, we each will stand before the Lord and make an accounting of our lives here on earth. It is always wise, no matter our age, to make an honest assessment of where we stand regarding our walk with the Lord. Regarding those points, the following story (fiction) chronicles the closing days, hours, and moments of one man’s life. I hope you find it a fruitful read. 🙂
John Tiller rested in his bed—connected to a plethora of monitoring equipment, which kept waking him due to the constant beeping sounds. His family had worked with the medical team to help convert his bedroom. John wanted to die at home, not in a hospital; he felt grateful that his family helped him with his desires. He had lived sixty of his eighty-three years in that house; he and his wife bought the home shortly after they married, and they had raised their eight children there. It did not feel right to leave this life in any other place.
He knew that his passing would be rough on his family, and that broke his heart. He also knew that at that specific time, at the end of his life, there was nothing he could do. He was the sort of man that always wanted to be there for his family, and he had done so throughout his life until he had gotten sick.
John went in-and-out of consciousness, which frustrated him because each time he woke it seemed the view from his bed had changed. Sometimes no-one was present while other times his entire family surrounded him. He knew his family was in a painful vigil waiting for the inevitable. His mind, at times, was still razor sharp, so he understood the situation well. He understood that he had days, perhaps hours to live. He opened his eyes and noticed that his entire family was back. This time they had a Priest and a doctor with them. He knew what that meant, and it caused tears to flow from his eyes. Talking was impossible, so he gave a loving smile to each of his children, one-by-one, letting them know how much he loved them. He wished he could find a way to tell them how precious they were to him, yet he knew that he had done that many times over the past several months. Each of his children smiled back, and he could tell that they were filled with pain as well. He looked deep into the eyes of his wonderful wife, the one person who had been with him through everything; he felt terrible with the thought of leaving her. She returned his gaze, and they both understood the love that bound them together. He found it hard to breathe then, which was something new. He knew he was going to fall asleep again, yet he wanted that special moment to last. He smiled while looking at his family; he mouthed the words ‘I love you’ as he fell into unconsciousness.
He woke again. He did not see anyone. It seemed to him that the medical staff had moved him to a different bedroom, yet he knew that did not make sense. He could not stand the blinding light that seemed to be coming from all directions. He remembered having a dream in which he saw Jesus—he could not recall the dream’s contents. He did remember, that in the dream, he was standing before Jesus and that the Lord had smiled at him.
John was becoming concerned; no-one was coming into his room. He looked around, yet he could not see the walls through the amazing light. He wondered what procedure the doctors might be performing on him that required such an intense light. He was about to raise his head from the bed, yet he quickly realized that he was standing; that caused him to relax because he immediately assumed he was still dreaming. He decided to go with the dream and see where it led. He began to move toward what he thought was a wall. He had not walked in months, his movements felt weird. He also noticed that he had no pain; in fact, he realized that he felt amazingly well, which convinced him he was dreaming.
As he moved toward the wall, he noticed the intense light lessening ahead of him. When he looked back, he saw that the light remained bright in that direction. He did not want to go back to that intense light—he continued moving toward the lessening light; he thought maybe that was the wall directly ahead. As he continued to creep along, it did not take long for the light to come down to a level much easier on his eyes. The intense bright light continued unabated behind him. He stopped when he heard what sounded like voices in the distance. His mind started to come through a mental fog. He started to understand that things were not the same as they were moments before when he had whispered ‘I love you’ to his family. He wondered if it was only moments ago, he could not tell since he no ability to discern time’s passing.
The light had come fully down to what seemed like a normal daylight level. John looked from side-to-side, and he could see walls. The walls were shockingly beautiful and covered with precious stones the likes of which he had never seen. He looked down and saw a walking surface that seemed to glimmer and shine and was nearly translucent, it was like the most precious gold he had ever seen. He knew, then, that his family had watched him drift past the veil of life, through death and into eternal life. Naturally, with that realization, his mind flooded with many different thoughts. He wondered how his family had fared, and how long it had been since he had passed. To him his passing seemed like it was seconds or minutes ago, he had no idea. He decided to press on.
As he continued moving, the walls began to spread outward until they met with two walls that extended in opposite directions for what seemed like miles-upon-miles; he could not see an end to the walls. He realized that he had been moving through an entrance tunnel leading to a gate.
He moved past the outer walls, and he noticed they were glimmering and were nearly translucent, they seemed illuminated by love and warmth. Pearls filled the gate he passed through, and the warm light danced across its surface. He could not locate the source of the amazing warm and loving light that filled the entire space—it did not appear to be sunlight. He knew he had never seen such light before.
Suddenly, as he moved straight ahead, everything came into sharp focus and standing about ten feet away was a man, a familiar looking person. John felt that he had known the man for a long time; it took his mind a few additional seconds to realize that he was looking at his Guardian Angel. John smiled with loving gratitude. The Angel smiled and walked away; seconds later he was far from John.
He still felt confused, yet he chose to move further on toward the sounds of talking. Soon, he saw people; he had no idea how many there were, they were everywhere, so many people that they seemed uncountable to him. He watched, feeling stunned, as the people walked in all directions. Then, he noticed that there were many levels in the space; on each level there appeared to be uncountable numbers of people. He wondered where everyone was going and what they could be doing.
He had the amusing thought that, while living on earth, the entire scene would have given him a huge headache. His mind could not grasp what he was seeing, nor could he grasp the sheer size, beauty and scope of the place.
As he heard the sounds of rushing water, he saw a large group of people walking toward him. He nearly screamed with joy when he saw his Mother, Father, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and friends that had previously passed from their lives on earth. He had always been a believer, yet this reunion surpassed his greatest dream.
He ran to his loved ones and embraced them all. He had never known such joy. His parents looked happy and healthy, and they had the same amazing and loving smiles they had before. His mind filled with love-filled emotion. The warm greeting was soon interrupted when his loved ones separated to make room for someone approaching. It was a man wearing a dazzling white robe. John knew it was Jesus. He went to Him.
“My Lord,” he said with a low and humble voice.
“John, please, my good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master’s house,” Jesus said with a warm and loving smile that could only be called Divine.
Isn’t it true that we each want a similar end to our lives, and isn’t it also true that we want that not only for our own souls but, for all the people in our lives?
This life, as wonderful and as trying as it can be, is nothing but a mist of time against the backdrop of eternity. If we live to 80, or even 100 years old, that is a blip on the radar screen of eternal life. Yet, as the Bible teaches (Hebrews 11:6): without faith it is impossible to please God. Take note that the verse does not say it will be difficult to please God if we do not have faith in Him; rather, it is impossible. If we desire to hear the words the man in the story heard when he met Jesus in Heaven, the first step is we must have faith. Do not let pride or ego stand in your way, for eternity with God is offered to every soul but, we must make the choice–we must have faith.
Thanks for reading. I hope you found the story and this post productive. If you liked it, please share the link.
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