I have tried to share what I experienced Easter Sunday, April 12th, when I was hospitalized and semi-conscious. I have not felt the freedom to attempt this until now. It is personal, and my words are so inadequate. They can never do His love justice.
Looking down, I see myself in agony on the bed.
Spiraling upward into a radiant night sky,
I am swept away from my pain.
I no longer hurt.
Someone gently grasps my hand.
I know it is Him.
I sense His smile wrapping me in His love.
He draws me, and I yearn to look at Him.
His eyes lock with mine.
And joy bursts within me as we ascend.
I am His! And oh, He is mine!
I long for nothing else but this.
But He beckons to the bright stars above us.
And abruptly we are shooting in and out of a wispy haze—
Our climb slows and then halts.
He points to a small opening in the haze, and it widens.
A vision unfolds of mountains, seas, and rivers.
Figures in the distance are laughing and singing.
Their joy flows into me, and I know this is heaven.
Voices raise in an unfamiliar harmony.
“No more pain!”
“No more sickness!”
“No more sadness!”
“No more fear!”
“No more tears!”
And more and more declarations of freedom rise.
Their worship radiates toward Him exploding into rays of light.
Floating with Him in the cosmos with heaven just before me,
He speaks to me without words.
And He shares wonders I have never before heard.
Each truth embeds in my heart.
With each unspoken word, I understand what I have never understood.
The purest of love pours into me.
There are no words that render its beauty.
And in one moment all is quiet.
He points again to the opening in the haze.
And then He signals me to look at something with Him.
There, in the hospital bed, I see myself.
I am still with Him, and that pain is far away.
I can’t even remember it.
And then I realize He asks me to choose—
My choice is heaven or to return to that bed.
I feel the joy of heaven.
My heart leans toward loved voices urging me.
And then I look into His eyes.
His love fills me with His wish.
But, still, as He has always done
He allows me to choose.
He has given me His unspoken words to share.
If I return, I will have pain.
What might His unspoken words and my pain bring?
He has something to do in me—
Something to use in me.
My heart aches for heaven.
But I have a choice to make.
The Grace that died for me floods my heart.
I am loved beyond anything.
My choice is made.
I seek His face.
His smile and eyes are mine to remember.
And without one more thought, I have returned.
Pain pierces me.
But I am not alone.
I feel His fingers wrapped around mine.
Just a moment before with heaven right before me,
The face of Grace had held me.
Now, in my return, His Grace still holds me
And encompasses my pain.
Above the sounds of the hospital, I hear heaven’s faint music.
“May the Grace of the Lord Jesus be with you forever!”
I know His joy is mine.
I am never alone.
“May the Lord be with your spirit. And may his grace be with all of you” (2 Timothy 4:22).