I read a post from a woman in a widow support group where she wrote that she loved worshipping in church on Sundays because it was an activity she could still enjoy with her husband. Please keep in mind her husband is dead, no longer on earth, but she looks forward to this activity that she does with him. At first it might sound a little far fetched, but I am in complete agreement with her. The first evidence I have of this statement is biblical. Philippians 2:10-11reads "so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." I know that my husband is spending eternity in heaven with Jesus. I know that he had made a decision to accept Christ into his life and that his inheritance is a place prepared for him in heaven. I also know that in the presence of the almighty God what comes from the mouths of all in heaven is praise.
The second is my own experience. Stay with me as I explain.
My husband Mark and I were both extremely stubborn people, and always had a hard time admitting we were wrong. When we fought or argued I would push and he would build walls, and then I would push harder. One Saturday evening we had a huge fight, definitely one of our biggest in our marital life. When Sunday morning rolled around we had not reconciled. But it was Sunday morning so we had church to get to, Mark would serve in the back of the sanctuary on Safety team and I would sit in my normal section on the left 3 rows back.
That morning I remember walking into church with a feeling of discouragement, of worry and despair. As much as I knew we were both in love and committed to our marriage, we were in a season of difficulty, and it was beginning to feel that even when we stepped forward together we would be dragged a few steps back. The song I remember singing that morning is called "Surrounded" and it has a line that goes "It may look like I'm surrounded, but I'm surrounded by You." I recall singing the words to that song and feeling like even when Mark and I were being hit from all sides by the enemy that God was standing in their way. I could actually picture Him surrounding us with this beautiful supernatural light of heavenly beings. The dark cloud that tried to overwhelm us didn't stand a chance against the God of the universe. It brought me peace, knowing that God was on our side. As we sang the song Mark quietly approached me from behind (as he often did in church) and without saying a word he just put his face next to mine, not touching me, but there. Then he spoke quietly in my ear, I don't remember what he said, but I know it was kind and loving and we went about our day without the anger from the night prior.
We sang that same song a few Sundays ago, and again I could see the same imagery. A dark cloud beginning to surround me, and then a bright light raising up as a shield between me and the dark cloud. But this time as I sang I envisioned a figure move forward from the light, closer to me, and then I felt an undeniable presence right there next to my face, just like Mark, standing there close to me without saying a word, without reaching out to touch me. I knew in that moment that he and I were worshipping God together that morning. I am so grateful for something that we are still able to do together. We each worship the God of the universe, the God who will always protect me from the dark cloud of the enemy threatening to envelope me in the hopelessness of my circumstances. Oh, how incredible Mark's view must be, literally being in the presence of the Glory of God. How blessed he is.
"And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst"
I would be very interested in commissioning an artist to create this image into something tangible. If you are interested in doing that please feel free to send me a message and we can talk more.