Our flight was out of Dulles at 7am which is a two hour drive from where I live. I was so nervous about not making the flight that I asked some good friends, Monte and Lori, if I could stay with them for the night since they live just a couple miles from the airport.
I met Monte and Lori when I worked as a Youth Pastor at their church. They had treated me like family during my three years there. Monte and Lori are amazing people; very classy, love Jesus, wicked funny, and they love me very much. It had been over a year and a half since I had last seen them. As soon as I walked in the door we started right where we left off the last time we talked.
I told them about Pam and how our marriage was going. I gave them the news that we were going to have a baby in just over a month’s time. They were so excited for me. I guess we all thought it was pretty funny to picture me as a dad. Who would have thought? What kind of dad am I going to be?
I had such an amazing time with them that night. There are times when you reconnect with great old friends that end up becoming very sad; times change, people change, and you can realize that what you once experienced doesn’t exist anymore. That’s a heart breaking feeling.
Not this night.
As we were talking God was whispering to me, “John, this is what heaven will be like.” I’ve always wondered and tried to read about what heaven will be like someday. I believe that Jesus is returning. I personally believe that God isn’t going to destroy everything as we know it and rebuild it all, I think something far more beautiful and mysterious is going to happen. I believe that somehow all the evil in this world will be erased and that God will restore his creation to it’s original goodness. But I don’t think it stops there: I believe what people have done that have added to God’s creation in a way that brings glory to Him will also be included in the re-creation. This includes artwork that honors God and lifts up truth. It includes music. It includes architecture. It includes all redemptive things that people have done because we are made in the image of God. And somehow – sin, sorrow, and death will be erased never to return. But most importantly, people will be there. That distance that can painfully appear in relationships can and will be removed. It brings hope that sustains me on a daily basis. All things will be restored one day.
So it was that night; that as we were talking I realized this is part of the re-creation. That my friends who I love so much and so deeply, but yet for one reason or another we don’t talk much, will have all of eternity to enjoy each other as God originally intends. I was overwhelmed with joy.
As I went to bed I sent Pam a text that I would call her soon. I called and told her that I loved her and was very nervous about my trip. When I went to sleep, our baby was inside my wife, perfectly healthy and growing beautifully. That was the last time I talked with Pam while our baby was alive.
This is our baby at 20 weeks with a perfect bill of health…