The imagination is a wonderful thing. It is the part of a person’s mind that creates ideas and stretches possibilities. I remember as a child allowing my thoughts to ramble through a variety of adventures that were physically impossible and could only be enjoyed in that wonderful realm of the imagination. Sometimes a story I read or a movie I saw would stoke those imaginative embers, taking me away from the mundane and allowing me to soar like a bird.
As an adult, I don’t often take these flights of imaginative fancy. I have responsibilities now, my feet solidly, for the most part, on the ground, right? I have to do housework and laundry and go to my job and pay bills and… You get the picture. But there are still times when I let that creative side of my mind explore new venues. One song that I have loved for years but that also sustained me with hope during those days and weeks and months of heartache after Randy died is the Mercy Me song, “I Can Only Imagine”. When browsing the internet one day, I stumbled across the official music video, and it prompted me to hang an empty picture frame on my wall. (You’ll have to watch the video to understand that reference.)
Sometimes when I read Scripture, my imagination is ignited. The book of Revelation does that for me in a wild rainbow of images. There are dragons and beasts and monsters and battles enough to fuel a person’s daydreams for a long time. And there are other places in the Bible that touch off those sparks of adventurous thought for me.
One of those verses is 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17–For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. (CJB–Complete Jewish Bible version)
Just read those words and try to picture what it will be like. Just imagine the sound of that heavenly trumpet! You can experience what an earthly shofar sounds like by watching the video below, but oh, the heavenly one! That makes my mind and heart (and my imagination!) soar.
If I knew when that event is going to happen, I’d go hang out at the Redbank Cemetery to watch some of my dead loved ones rise from those graves, clothed in their new eternal, glorified, forever perfect bodies, and then–whoosh!–it’s my turn! All of us soaring into the air like a flock of birds. Oh to be reunited with my cherished family members who’ve gone on before me: all my beloved grandparents, my Uncle Wayne, my cousin Greg, other precious family, and my husband Randy,.. And to see Jesus face to face! What a glorious day that will be!
But as I let my imagination fly, I know that my greatest joy on that day will come if all of my birds are with me, my children and their families, rising into the sky to be together forever. I cannot imagine a greater joy than having all of them surrounding the father and grandfather they all adored while he was still here, the man they miss more than words can adequately express, reunited for all eternity. And to join the other friends and family who are still alive: my husband Doug and his family and my parents and my siblings and their families and my cousins and … I can’t imagine anything better than that!
Do I really believe this day will come, or is this just some fanciful daydream I imagine from time to time? Oh, beloved ones, I do believe this is real with all my heart. And as I watch the signs all around, including the many events, both in sun and moon and in politics in just this month alone, I can’t help but turn my eyes and ears toward heaven. Oh beloved ones, are you ready? Is your heart in tune with the heart of Jesus Christ? Do you trust Him and Him alone for your salvation? Please give your heart to Him while there is still time. Let Him rule in your life with truth and justice and grace and peace, because only He provides the way. And when that heavenly shofar blows, come fly away with me!