I flew to Los Angeles yesterday, and back — a same-day business trip and the first since my husband passed away in June. It was strange. Normally, I would call my husband and let him know I had made it safe and sound to the airport, and again, once seated on the plane, and again, upon landing, and again upon arriving at my destination, and again upon returning to the airport for the flight home. Wow. No one to call. So, I texted my daughters instead. They were kind, and responded with “Love you!” and “Hugs!”, and I survived the day.
As I boarded the plane for the return flight, I quickly secured a window seat so that I could have a place to lean my head and take a little nap. Boy, this was a long day. I hadn’t had to “be on my game” for an entire day, for a very long time. My toes were screaming at me, reminding me that it had been weeks since I had squeezed them into high heels, and they were not happy about it.
Soon we were coasting along and I watched the city, and then the beautiful California coastline, and then a beautiful patch of the ocean disappear as we gained altitude. My forehead pressed to the window, I watched the clouds stream by. Hi sweetheart! Do you know where I am? I’m up here! Can you see me? Is Heaven just above me? Where is it, anyway?
As we began our descent, the earth below took on the look of a giant patchwork quilt. How precise the farmers are. How do they make those lines so perfectly square? Are they bored, living out there surrounded by big green squares?
How in the world does God know us all? It’s impossible! Look… look down there. We are like ants. He couldn’t possibly have known that Walt was lying in bed, dying. How could he possibly know that? Look. The clouds have covered the earth. There is no way he can see, and know all of us. It’s impossible. God? Really? Oh this is so hard. God, if you are who you say you are, then write something in the clouds for me to see.
No verses in the sky. No one to call. We have landed. I am safe. I’ll be home soon.
I called my girlfriend to thank her for taking care of Harry and Sally (my cats) and she assured me that they had survived the ordeal! Then, she went on to tell me that our dear friend next door had an extremely difficult day. A beautiful, kind woman, married for more than forty years, her family and Hospice have accelerated their vigil around her. And then she said it. “She was crying all day because she’s afraid she has not been good enough, and may not make it to Heaven.” (Our friend has not been strong in her faith and as her time approaches, her fear of death has tightened its grip.)
My heart skipped a beat at those words and immediately, without hesitation, I said “Of course she’ll go to heaven. Even though she may not have fully believed in God, He has been there all along. He doesn’t disappear because you say He is not there. He’s right there! He will not forsake her, if she just asks for Him.” I want so much to go to her and tell her these things. The chaplain came to see her yesterday, so I know that he did. I hope she heard him and accepted that great promise.
This is what I believe. I can’t always fully grasp God’s kingdom, His wisdom or His power, but I do believe. Thank you God for all my blessings.