A hand embraced my shoulder from behind. Turning me away from the cross toward himself, there stood before me an older man, his face full of strength but with eyes full of understanding and compassion. It was as though his eyes peered into the deepest part of my soul. I can’t fully describe the awe I experienced as I looked into his eyes. When he spoke it was as though a thousand waterfalls were funneled into the voice of a man.
I heard his words clearly say, “Tim, I’m your Heavenly Father … your Abba!” Fear filled my already brittle-feeling soul and once again I fell to my knees. In fear I recoiled. Tears flowed from my eyes … once again in deep shame and guilt of my unworthiness to be standing in the presence of … my Creator! From the voice of a thousand waters, his voice changed to that of a gentle older man.
“Don’t be afraid my son!” Once again, God TOUCHED ME! His hand gently lifted my face. Now standing beside God the Father was Jesus.
Softly, Jesus said, “Tim, we wanted to bring you here to see.”
I looked at him and said, “You’re not …”.
Before I could finish my sentence he said with a smile on his face, “I am not bound by time. This happened long ago.” Lifting me to my feet and facing me toward him, looking into my eyes again, he gently said, “I died for all the guilt, shame, worthlessness and fear you have felt and are feeling right now.”
God the Father said, “Tim … YOU ARE FORGIVEN! YOU’RE FREE!”
At that moment a warm breeze hit my face and embraced … entered … soothed …comforted … filled me in a way I cannot begin to describe. In that moment I felt deeply known, understood, valued, and FULL. It was the Holy Spirit. It was the most incredible, euphoric sense I’ve ever felt. No experience on earth ever came close. In the blink of an eye I was back in the garden but this time not only was I facing God the Son, but he was now in the arms of the Father. I fell to my knees in worship. On my knees in plush green grass with the Tree of Life in the background and enveloped in the summer-like breeze of the Holy Spirit, all I could think to say was “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” Once again an explosion of joy, laughter and laughcry broke out. Present once again in the midst of loved ones we danced, embraced, laughed, cried, and laughcried. We all, including God the Father and Son, joined in song. The green leaves from the Tree of Life swirled around us, carried in the breeze of the Holy Spirit. It was as if everyone in their own spirit continually recounted all the great blessings and gifts given to us, and we sang of God’s forgiveness, love, and grace. We sang with voices full of great joy, tears, and laughter. We danced, we sang, we laughcried, and we embraced for what seemed like days. None of our joyous expressions were borne out of obligation, guilt, or a sense of duty. It all just flowed out of our deeply touched hearts. I could dance and sing and not be tired. It was all real, authentic, and heartfelt. “I am home,” I kept thinking and proclaiming! “I am home.”
Time and paper does not permit me to tell you of all I experienced.
Of all my new friends.
Of all my new discoveries and new perspectives.
Of the people, heroes of the faith with whom I dined. Learning, seeing with my own eyes critical moments of history and the Holy One’s interventions and acts.
Of the first taste of the sweet water from the River of Life.
Of the many reunions, the moments greeting loved ones and friends who took their first bite of the Tree of Life. Reliving through them my first look at Jesus’ face.
Of the deep friendship, camaraderie, and brotherhood we treasured.
I Can FEEL. More deeply and more freely than ever.
I Can SEE WITH SUCH CLARITY.
There is such beauty in this place, in the people here.
I FEEL SUCH TREMENDOUS ENEGY, BUT AT THE SAME TIME … SUCH REST.
We each spent time with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in groups but also individually; it’s weird.
Do I dare describe our dwelling places?
Do I dare tell of what it’s like to behold the face of the Father?
Do I tell of all that I have learned, conversations with people about whom I have only read?
Do I dare tell of what he has allowed me to see on earth from heaven?
He says that the time is drawing near, the time of the renewing of heavens and earth. We sometimes speak of it here.
He told us we will join him with our loved ones at that time.
He tells us of our new bodies we will receive at the Second Coming.
We (the Saints who have died the second death) will be front and center. What a time that will be. He tells us of the wedding feast and of the New Jerusalem … it’s going to be awesome.
I must go now. Jesus has arranged for me and a few others to sit with Moses. He is going to recount for us his time on earth and what pen and paper could not fully describe of all the Lord did. I dreamed of this time.
If only the Lord would allow me to tell a few moments of what it’s like here to some of my friends and family. Oh, how they would invest their time differently.
P.S. The Father just told me he has already written of it!! Ha ha hah! I guess that’s true! Blessed are those who believe.
What words cannot express,
[artwork credit: Charlie Mackesy]