Praying privately in churches, I began to discover that heaven was my true home and that it was here and now, woven into this life.
- Lionel Blue, rabbi, journalist and broadcaster
And remember that I am always with you until the end of time. (Matthew 28:20)
I often wonder how deeply we consider these words and their meaning. Jesus promised that he would be with us always, from before our birth and for all eternity, without beginning or ending. There has never been a time that we were not known to him. Awesome.
Does the fact that people who are dying see loved ones who died long ago move us to understand that “there is no such thing as time,” as a patient told me moments before he died? Do the stories of near-death experiences describing heaven, angels and music the exact same way teach us about our limited understanding of time?
When a husband who had a great love of angels dies and feathers are found everywhere in his house, does it mean anything? What about my sister Anne, who enjoyed birds and butterflies with her recently deceased husband and discovered butterflies flying all around her and a bush blooming for the first time ever on her birthday? When a woman who lost several loved ones recently sees all of them in a dream saying they are happy and want her to be happy too, does that tell her anything? And when a child, pinned under an SUV, says later that his uncle (whom he never knew) picked up the car and helped him–does that speak to the circle of life that has no beginning and no ending? The fact that more people than ever are willing to talk about seeing or dreaming about loved ones after they die speaks to this very phenomenon.