A few days after arriving in Colorado to start the search for Jack, I’m tossing in my bed, trying desperately to get to sleep, and finally drift into a deep state. My minds eye sees Jack’s face: the son I love; the son for whom I hold such hope; the son who makes everyone smile; the son whose entertaining antics make my eyes well up with tears of laughter; and the son whose periodic struggle with mental illness makes my eyes like clouds belching buckets of rain. Jack…a son whose love never seems to run out. The son who loved the adventure of Sport Aviation and experienced the apex of the high associated with flying thru the mountains, glaciers, and fiords of Alaska: the very experience that bonded Jack to the mountains in the first place. He is at home in the mountains. I imagine Jack’s present condition wandering thru the Colorado wilderness half-starved and parched with thirst, staggering and stumbling and on the brink of exhaustion. My whimpering subconscious yells out, “God, I know who you are holding now, Jack. Thank you, Father, for holding me in your hand while I go thru this.”
He drew close to me then, and I continue to camp out in the shelter of His wings four years later. Ah, the gales of life. They require being held to survive. When the emotions of grief begin to overwhelm you, you’re not alone. Time has passed, and most of the friends that so wonderfully reached out when it all unfurled no longer call, no longer write–seemingly, no longer care. You are not alone, though, my friend. Far from it. Consider for just a moment that we have given amazingly little attention to the place where we will live with Christ and his people: the new earth in the new universe. Fascinating, exhilarating, life-changing. For the day we fear the most, our last, is the birthday to eternity. And just like anyone who has lived in a foreign land longs to return to his own native land, this paradise of which I speak is our native land. Imagine coming home from exile. Imagine coming out of a raging storm. Imagine arriving at the goal of all your desires and the mountain peak of your wishes. Imagine the majesty and love the person(s) you lost are experiencing at this very moment.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away”
REVELATION 21: 1-4
Don’t forget to look up today.