Heaven’s Tour Bus

 

I dreamed that I boarded a tour bus, and I sat right up front so I could see everything up close.

First stop was at an enormous shopping mall. There were halls upon halls filled with little specialty stores. Each boutique was unique from the other, and displayed items from a place and time in history. Every place in the world had their own ‘wing’ of shopping stores, and each store represented a different time in its history. Every place and time was covered, from cave man to the future. Anything you desired could be had. All you had to do was ask the store clerk, and they then gave it to you.

The mall was crowded with many different people going in and out of the stores with their packages and purchases, each one smiling and enjoying themselves as they went about their business. But no one seen us or looked at us. It was as if we were invisible to them. They seen the tour guide angels, but they must have sensed that they were not alone, and so they stayed out of their way.

As I watched it all, my mind could hardly grasp all the choices before me. I knew it would take a lifetime to explore all the little stores. And oh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to explore them someday with my mother?

Just then, I seen someone walk by me, holding an old book open to their reading page, with a beautiful Celtic bookmark, hand-painted and stamped with gold leaf.

“Oh!” I exclaimed to my tour guide, “I’d like to have one of those!” And just then, someone else walked by from the other direction with a beautiful hair clip holding back her hair. It would be perfect for my friend. “And one of those,” I said. I turned to my guide. “Where is the store that has those?”

The guide told me it was in a different wing of the mall, and that we did not have time to go there on this tour. “Come,” the guide said to me, “we must go.”

“Wait!” I exclaimed, “couldn’t I just go into this store to get the bookmark? It’s right here in front of us.”

But the angel guide nearest to me shook its head no. “It will be delivered to you,” he said, and then we turned and got back into the tour bus.

After driving some distance, we suddenly came upon a valley as big as the Grand Canyon, with a cliff just as steep. The bus lurched out and downwards, and I screamed as I watched the earth come up to me. We tumbled, and then stopped for a moment, to see if everyone was still O.K.

Shaken but unharmed, we continued on into the depths of this valley, till we reached a small settlement of people, camped out by a big red rock. It was dry here, but pleasantly so, with the sun bright overhead, but without the searing heat. There was a light breeze blowing about, which made it a very pleasant day. Perfect picnic weather, I thought.

As I came closer, I could see the people walking about and going on about their business. They had trailer homes, propped up around each other, so they could all be together. Then, as I came close to one of them, one with a white sunshade propped up and out and a picnic table beneath it, my eyes caught a familiar sight and I stumbled.

“Is that my Father?” I whispered to the guide. I doubted it was, even though it looked exactly like him when he was in his twenties, for this man was laughing and smiling, something I had rarely seen my father do. He was talking and listening to the others around him tells him their stories, and him sharing his with them.

“Yes,” the angel answered me, “it is your father. But you must not stare at him, for that would cause him to notice you, and he is not to know right now that you are here.”

Oh! To turn my eyes away from his peaceful smiling face took everything I had in me. But I obeyed the angel, and looked away.

Our bus continued on again, and made it’s way to another grand canyon. When we came to the sharp drop again, I knew then what was in store for us, and I started to pray over and over again, “Oh my God oh my God oh my God!” till suddenly we were riding on the bottom of the canyon again. The angel must have seen the confusion on my face, for it explained to me, “this canyon is easier to access.”

This time, we rode on, till we came to a larger community, all green covered land, and mild temperatures, with little high-rises all around. Each rise, had everything that was needed in its building. The high rise was filled with people; many of them single women, all in the prime of their lives.

Then the tour guide talks to the building manager, and then the manager gives a nod, and leads us to a small room in one of the high rises. I enter and quietly look around.
The place reminded me of a laundry room, with washing machines lined up on one side of the room, while the other side had tables for one to sit upon and sort their laundry. I frowned in confusion, still not understanding. Why bring me here? I knew there must be something special about this room; I just wasn’t catching it.

Then I looked upwards to the wall and seen it.

My Mother’s cross-stitch. My mother’s ceramics. Her art work, up on the walls of the laundry room. I thought, “oh! How sweet of them to let my mother hang her work here!”
I looked closer, and seen there were several different small banners in cross-stitch, that had a date, name, and an emblem on it. Other ceramics that hung on the wall (bird, flower, bunny, dove, etc.,) was inscribed with a person’s name & date. There were several ones there with her name on it, among the other names on the wall. The manager told me the other names were Mom’s friends.

When I understood that, I looked around at the machines and wondered why heaven would even need washing machines. Then the angel stepped in and told me that these washing machines were different than the ones I knew of. These didn’t just clean dirt from clothes; they removed emotional stuff from things and cleaned it of all resentment, anger, bitterness, etc., anything that was un-Christ-like. An item could be put in the washer, and as a blinding white light would swirl in and around it, the person ‘washing their dirty laundry’, would sit at one of the tables and tell God all about their resentment, anger, bitterness, etc., and then leave those emotions with Him. The item associated with the ‘stuff’, then comes out clean and free of all ‘dirt’ and made new again.

My mother’s work, hanging on the walls, commemorated these events. Each piece of work had the person’s first name on it, along with the date. The last item on the banner or artwork was a symbol of what took the place of the ‘stuff’. The ceramics was the symbol itself, and had the person’s name etched into it, along with the date on the back of it.

How ironic! I had thought that God would somehow forcefully remove it (anger, resentment, etc.,) from a person, before letting them go through the gates of heaven. After all, I figured, why would God ever let such dirt into heaven? If He did, then it wouldn’t be heaven then anymore, would it?

But I was wrong. God does let it into heaven. He doesn’t forcefully remove it from the person. Instead, He waits for the person to get tired of the ‘dirt’ first, and then helps them to remove it. The tour guide told me that emotional ‘Dirt’ up in heaven, really stands out. It hinders the person’s joy in heaven, so one is naturally drawn to having it washed. When the spirit of God washes and purifies it, it enables them to let go of the negative emotions, which feels good and gives them more joy. All this takes place as commonly as we do our laundry down here on earth. (And mind you, unlike here, a person’s ‘stuff’ is seen as being quite separate from the people themselves!)

I was sitting on the bench and starring at my Mother’s work that hung upon the walls, when I seen my Mother walk in.

She was young and beautiful again, just like her pictures of when she was a young woman.

I quick looked at the angel again, to see if I could acknowledge her, and the angel nodded a yes.

Mom sat down beside me, and we turned to each other and held each other in our arms.
I was crying, and finding it hard to speak.

“Oh Mom,” I said, in a release of breath, “I’m so glad they’re letting me be with you!”
I wanted to tell her, all about my fears and second-guesses, of asking God to take her home to heaven, instead of having her hang on in pain down here. But in a sudden flash of realization, I sensed it wasn’t necessary, and that Mom fully understood and was glad that I had answered the way I had.

But then I found myself admitting something to her that I had not even voiced to myself down on earth. Something far deeper and uglier.

“Oh Mom,” I cried, still in her arms, “you want to know what’s really awful? If I had known just how hard and painful it would be for me without you, I would have never asked God to bring you to heaven!”

And at this, I cried more, and felt all my shame at this ugly truth revealed. I had expected her to turn away with disgust, once she realized how very self-centered and selfish I really was inside. (To think of keeping her here with me simply for my own comfort, even though it would cause her such pain!)

But she didn’t. She simply held me as I cried, and whispered words of comfort to me. “Sh, there, there, it’s O.K., I understand. It’s O.K.”

I stayed there, in her embrace; till I could feel some of her calm and peace blanket my own soul. I breathed a sigh of relief, as the last sobs racking my body faded away.
Then I looked up, to see her leaving, just like how a mother tiptoes out of her child’s room after finally getting them back to sleep. Only she wasn’t tiptoeing, she was walking, and I wasn’t quite asleep yet.

I was about to ask the angel why she could not stay longer, when the angel told me that she needed to get back to her crafts, for it was time for one of her ceramic pieces to come out of the kiln.

I got up then, and turned to the angel, thinking we would get back on the tour bus, for I was now eager to see more. But the angel let me know that the tour had ended, and with a gentle lift of her hand, I was sent back to earth and then I woke up.

 

*

Rev. 21:4-5, KJV “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new…”

Reliving Old Grief

 

I dreamed of my mother again,
And of my grandmother.

I was back in my old childhood house, living out of a suitcase,
And having to face my mother’s death again.

My uncle was also there with me;
I sensed that he had been sent there to help me recover from my mother’s death, and was praying for me.

I kept wandering around the house looking for something familiar,
Something of comfort, but could find nothing.

I kept a blanket around me (I was only in my undergarments
Underneath,) and thought to get dressed, but even the clothes in my suitcase
Were unfamiliar.

I seen the odd collections of ceramics and plates that were still unfinished, (she liked to make them,) but they were things I had not seen before.

I sensed it was time to give them away.

I kept crying, the grief overwhelming me
Consuming from the inside out.

I tried to go through the closet to the other side of the house
Like I used to when I was young, but it had long been blocked off.

“I miss you so much mother!” I exclaimed to the closet wall.
“And I miss you too, grandma & grandpa!”

“But I miss my mama most of all!”

No matter how hard I tried,
I just kept crying.

I then woke up.

*

When I awoke,
I kept hearing the tune of a song, (a top 40 song,) that keeps repeating itself:
“I keep bleeding…Keep keep bleeding…love…I get cut up inside…”

I looked up the date of when my mother died.

Several years ago this Thursday.

Figures.
Maybe that’s why I dreamed of her again.

“That,” I felt God reply,
“and the tulips that are sitting on top of your kitchen counter,
Constantly reminding you of your grandmother.
They help too.”

I thought of my mother and how she lived in the same house as her parents,
And wondered how she coped with all the memories of her parents
Constantly surrounding her.

My heart remained heavy though,
As I relived the grief from my mother’s death.

“This is an attack from satan, Ma Petite,” my God replied.

“A dream of my mother?” I was a little confused of this.
“What’s wrong with having a dream of my mom?”

“This dream, brought you grief, pain, and loneliness, all over again.
Which kingdom is better served, bringing you that?”

True; it was hard to continue on with life when you’re struck down again with that ‘death grief’. Yes, reliving old grief definitely was an attack from satan….

*

Matthew 6:34 KJV “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”

Psalm 23:1-6 (KJV) “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

John 14:27 (KJV) “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

 

The Reasoning of the Chosen

A dream…

Suddenly, it was time.
People gathered in large numbers, milling around,
All waiting to see if their name would be called next.
Then they would be ushered into the dining room to eat.
All waited expectantly, wondering.
Names were called; big important names.
And one by one, these VIP’s were ushered in,
Where a wingless angel stood nearby
Taking their order for pizza,
And placing each person around the tables,
Each thinking it was according to their rank.
The others outside, still waiting,
Could see all that went on inside,
(Despite the huge crowds.)
Each name that was called, they would justify.
Yes, we can understand why he was chosen,
For he was the owner of that company.
And that guy over there, hey, wasn’t he the town mayor?
Then my old pastor’s name was called.
I watched as he entered and took his place,
(He was in line not far from me.)
He went in, placed his order, and ate beside the others.
A few other people were called and seated,
Then my name was called.
Whispers of shock reverberated around the tables,
Why her? Who was she? She was a nobody!
Why is she joining us here at our table?
They could not understand the reasoning of the chosen,
Nor could I. For yes, they were right, I was no one.
I placed no order, but received a pizza just the same.
It was a large green-peppered pizza, with pepperoni.
I eyed it, mouth watering, yet hesitating.
(I liked pepperoni and green peppers, but could not eat them while on earth.)
But somehow I knew, that this time it was O.K. for me to eat it,
And that I would not get sick from them.
So I ate small bites, marveling at how good it tasted, how perfect.
And each time I took out a bite, it was somehow replaced,
Leaving me with a whole pizza again.
My old pastor and I, we looked at each other and smiled.
But the others around us, continued to argue among themselves,
Trying to figure out why someone as lowly and unimportant like me,
Would be seated next to them.
Some made sense to them, like why the VIP’s were there.
But no one could figure out why little nobodies like me were among them.
We all looked around the room, searching, wondering, and eating.
Then in a flash, I knew. Everyone at our table, had one thing in common.
We had listened to my old pastor’s sermons, and had brought them into our heart.
That was the link among us; every single one.
We were all there, deemed important, not because of title or position,
But because we took this old pastor’s shared words of Jesus,
And allowed them to live within us.

I woke up then, and the song “The Invitation” by Steven Curtis Chapman,
Was playing in the back of my mind.

(To listen to the same song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA7q0jA9VtE )

*
Matthew 22:1-14, KJV. “And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

*