I have been encouraged by several people to read “90 Minutes in Heaven” about a pastor’s experience in paradise after he was pronounced dead but then began to breathe again 90 minutes later.
What surprised me was the deep sadness I experienced upon the author’s description of his “welcoming committee.” He shared about all the people he had known in his life who had died before him and were waiting with big smiles and hugs to welcome him into heaven. They were taking him to meet Jesus.
My heart sank. I began to physically ache as my face was covered by a waterfall of tears.
Who would have been Jud’s welcoming committee? Who would have been waiting with smiles to embrace my little guy?
I could hardly bear the thought of my boy entering heaven to unfamiliar faces. He did not know a single person who had died that could be waiting for him. I expect there were people welcoming my sweet man, but the eyes and smiles gazing upon him would have been unknown countenances.
I crumbled to the ground in brokenness.
I had expected, until Krabbe entered our lives, that I would be the one welcoming Jud and Jessie into paradise someday. But the expected order of things has been destroyed.
Who welcomed my boy?
As my tears pooled on the hard, tile floor, I was struck by a new realization-I remembered that Judson knew one person in heaven…
Judson knew and loved Jesus.
I expect Jesus himself was Jud’s “welcoming committee” and he was actually the one who introduced Jud to family, saints of old, and new friends. Judson would have been overjoyed to meet his Savior face-to-face in his new, healed body. I also imagine Jesus gave his precious little saint quite the homecoming party.
And though I desperately wish I could have been there, embracing my beloved Jud as he passed from death to life, my heart leaps with incredible hope and joy as I envision Judson waiting for me when I pass from death to life anew.
All I need is a “welcoming committee” of one-my dear, handsome Judson. What a joy to have him run into my deep embrace, then take my hand, walking & leaping as he leads me to Jesus.