Tonight my youngest son was part of an improv comedy troupe. The family gathered at the theater (11 of us in all) but my wife Happy was there before all of us. She had the tickets and had saved the seats. Happy could organize the world if only the world would allow it. I dropped my eldest daughter and her baby at the front door of the facility and drove off to park the car. It was a long walk back.
As I strolled back to the auditorium, from a distance near the back door, I saw a solitary figure waving. It was my wife. I waved back and thought, there is the woman who has loved me unconditionally for decades.
Suddenly, I had a picture of heaven, drawn from the many books written by people who have claimed to have visited, where someone I loved was waving at me as I approached the entrance. It was a sweet feeling.
Yet, I think this lovely vision is incorrect. I don’t know if anyone alive today has really visited heaven but I am skeptical. The only person I would believe would be someone who wouldn’t want to tell me. Like Paul in 2 Corinthians 12 who went there and saw things but wouldn’t tell us what they were. Near as I can tell, he didn’t write a best seller and collect the royalties. I always been a little piqued at him for withholding a description of heaven from us. I’ll tell him some day how annoying he was. Or maybe I won’t.
I have a theory that does fit the “greeting by a loved one” idea. I think, upon death, Jesus greets each one of us personally. He said so, I believe, in John 14:3
If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (NASB)
Few of the books I have read about a near death heavenly experience even mention seeing Jesus. One that did said He was wearing a purple sash. It’s an odd idea, not in the Bible, but it might be true. Who knows? I don’t.
What I do know is that Jesus has prepared a place for me and I believe He will greet me immediately on the day I die. That comforts me. I’m still in no hurry to die, mind you.