Heaven is for Real
I want to share this story for two reasons. First, to show how Christ reassured me that Heaven and the Kingdom of Heaven is for real and to comfort the many of us who have lost their parents or children or who are struggling with the foreseeable loss of someone we love. The second is to love the caregivers who are an example of Heaven on earth surrendering their lives as the body of Christ to show compassion to the suffering.
I will explain the picture you see which was taken with my iPhone from a baby monitor in a pitch black room with no light, minutes before Christ took my mother to Heaven.
We place our hope in Christ and his promise of Heaven. This is a story of hope and 100% faith that Christ brings light to the darkest moment we face, saying goodbye to someone we love. This emotional pain is so all-consuming that it is beyond words, but Christ understands. He knows our pain, as Scripture tells us when he saw the pain in Mary’s eyes at the loss of her brother Lazarus, “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)
The Bible doesn’t answer all our questions about Heaven and life after death—and the reason is because our minds are limited and Heaven is far too glorious for us to comprehend. Someday, all of our questions will be answered. However, the Bible teaches us that when we die we enter immediately into God’s presence.
Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, TODAY you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:42-43)
Jesus tells the thief next to Him on the cross that he will be with Him in Paradise that very day. I will let the theologians argue that process, but for me, my family is at peace that Christ was with us in our suffering, and he opened his arms and took Mom home.
It had been a hard month for my mother, with the slow decline of her cognitive ability and strength, requiring more and more support. My father was also struggling and needed full-time care as well. I now would like to introduce you to my sister Linda, who was the picture of Christ, when she quit her job and became a loving caregiver for my parents.
In emergency medicine, we are blessed to meet many loving caregivers. I have tried to make it a point to hold their hands, look into their exhausted eyes, and pray that Christ would give them strength when they were physically, emotionally and spiritually drained. It is hard for many to understand the commitment and compassion of those who put their lives on hold, and care for someone they love 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. This means to cook every meal and sometimes feed them, bathe them, dress them and be available at all hours of the night to meet their needs. The caregivers are the ones quietly sitting in the corner disheartened because many times the one they care for is unaware of their love. You know them, but more importantly, Christ knows them.
My mother had broken her hip and after surgery seemed to spiral downhill weighing only 90 pounds unable to walk and becoming weaker by the day despite meticulous, loving care by my sister. Linda called and asked Karen and me to fly home, as time was growing near. Mom was a strong Christian and the prayer warrior for the family bringing my father as well as many other family members to Christ.
When we arrived, she was still coherent, and we had a special time with the whole family. My mother was trying to hold on for my father, as he was so dependent on her after 63 years of marriage. One night in a loving moment he said to her,” You go on to Heaven, and I will see you soon.”
Later that week in the evening, we were sitting in the living room, and my sister turned on the baby monitor that she used to watch over Mom in her bedroom. She noticed a bright light over her bed, and she jumped up thinking we had left a light on in her room. To her surprise, she walked into a pitch black room where she could hardly see the hand in front of her face. She walked back to the monitor and saw the outline of my mother lying in her hospital bed with that same bright image seemingly standing over her. Linda asked that we look at the monitor and then go to the room where there was no visible light. We could not believe our eyes, and it was then that we took a picture of the monitor. Shortly after taking this picture, Christ with his loving compassion and mercy took Mom home to be with Him in Heaven. It was a month later that my father once again held my mother, but this time with Christ in Heaven.
One of Jesus’ most comforting promises was spoken to His disciples just before He ascended into Heaven: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). He is with us every minute of the day — right up to the moment of our death.
We are convinced and comforted with a sense of peace that Christ met them both with open arms, and are now with Him in the Kingdom of Heaven.
JESUS CHANGES EVERYTHING. DO YOU KNOW HIM?
Tom and Karen
Dr. Tom is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician in the USA with over 25 years of experience and an ordained minister at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville Kentucky. His true passion is world missions and he and his wife Karen are the founders of Teach To Transform, an organization that exists to equip partners around the world with medical and vocational skills they can use to share the gospel of Christ. You can subscribe to Dr. Tom’s weekly blog, Divine Appointments, to read more stories and learn more about the mission of Teach To Transform.