After discussing last week who we would have for dinner, we are concluding with the five people we want to meet in Heaven. These five people are supposed to be those who had great significance in your life or impacted it in a way that few others have. For me, the mere fact that I make it to Heaven is overwhelming enough. To think that I can see my Savior face to face and join in Heaven’s praise boggles my mortal mind. Then, to experience the ethereal beauty that cannot be described or reproduced in any art form is beyond my imagination. To top it all off, I get to see my loved ones and no longer feel heartache of any kind in this place prepared for me.
I can only imagine and as a dreamer, I think I’d feel like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. I’d leave “the black and white” of this existence and awaken in the brightest technicolor of another land. As I awake, I step onto the streets paved with gold knowing I must follow them to get to the throne room. Along the way, I meet the people that inspired me with their courage, their heart, and their brain much like the lion, the tin man, and the scarecrow. First, I need a little companion on this journey and she’s my favorite – my little girl, Abigail. Our reunion is as sweet as I’ve imagined a million times and the sound of her gleefully calling me “Mommy” is the loveliest melody. She knows this land well but lets me tell her about my special people as I finally get to hold her in my arms! Next, I look for the one with “the heart” - and that’s my grandma. Her heart inspired me and still does to this very day. She was and is the gospel personified. Her unconditional love nourished my childhood, as well as my soul. She always said my sisters and I were perfect and wonderful, and she made us feel that way. I imagine her heavenly mansion is next door to mine, just like her house was on earth. We were only separated by a lush field that we ran through on the way to the happiness and comfort she provided along with all her baked goodies! In Heaven, she is still in her bonnet and apron welcoming me with open arms and offering me her homemade breads. After a lovely visit, I tell Grandma that I am off to find the one with “the courage”, and that’s my sister-in-law Debbie, so she comes along with her granddaughter and great-granddaughter! (I love the sound of that!)
I know Abigail has spent lots of time with her Aunt Deb so she knows right where to go. I know Debbie will be somewhere singing the praises of her God like she always did in the darkest of times. In the years that I knew her, she battled such illness and it would’ve conquered most people - but not her. She fought the fight of faith with steely resolve and proclaimed, “God hasn’t failed me yet.” She prayed in the wee hours of the morning, with her worn Bible, and worshipped through pain and grim reports. She loved deeply, laughed often, and inspired me always. I know she’s excited to lead me to her hang-out in the throne room! So off we go, but I want to find the one with “the brain” who had the wisdom, the knowledge, and educated me in the gospel – our pastor and mentor, Dr. Sumrall.
Every word that Dr. Lester Sumrall spoke was a nugget of truth. It didn’t matter if it was from the pulpit, at dinner, in the car, or in a meeting because whatever he said dripped with Heavenly wisdom. Such wisdom came from years of divine friendship with God – he had it and we wanted it! I know he is somewhere comparing notes with the Apostle Paul or I figure he’s in a special club for those who were the true friends of God so I find him talking to Abraham, Enoch, Elijah and others! He guides me just as he always did…patiently!
So all of us are following the streets of gold, and soon thereafter, we reach the throne room. I hear the singing that natural ears can’t hear and the thunderous applause that can’t rival a summer storm. Abby is clapping, Debbie is leaping like she wanted to on earth, Grandma is smiling with that twinkle in her eyes and shouting in Serbian, and Dr. Sumrall has his eyes closed, hands behind his back and breathing it all in. They were as I’d remembered them but I wasn’t longing anymore, I wasn’t hurting or crying anymore . . . what’s going on? Where am I? All of a sudden I saw Him…my Savior was right in front of me. His face was too beautiful to describe and His words were all I ever wanted. Just as I imagined it, He looks at me and says, “YOU ARE HOME.” I look around and feel Heavens’ familiarity and realize I’m not dreaming - and I’m not in Kansas anymore! I look back at Jesus and finally get to say, “There’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home!”