Eternity does not start with death. We are in eternity now.
- Norman Vincent Peale
A young father wearing an expression of great sorrow is seated within a circle of teenage children, who are talking about devastating loss.
It is a gathering of inner city kids, all of who have experienced the violent death of a loved one. For some, the loss is recent. For others, the memory is a long time ago and terrible. It has left its scars. They share from the heart, openly and honestly.
Quietly, the father approaches me and explains the tragic car crash that ended his drug-addicted, 17-year-old son’s life. Then he asks me: “Did my son have the time to experience the "review" you speak about so often in your book, Glimpses of Heaven? Did he have the time to make amends for his life? Was there time for God to understand and forgive him? Will he go to Heaven?”
“Time” is spoken of so often in times of loss and I think about our earthly understanding of the word. Are there clocks in heaven? Does God wear a watch? Of course the answer is no. Those who are called home by sudden tragedy experience the same "review" that people share as they are dying, over a period of earthly time.
Our understanding of time is of our own making, while God who created the universe is larger than life and time. Remember the parable of the prodigal son and the father who comes to meet him. God’s compassionate heart remains open to us—always.