Over the years, I had often thought about my wife, Carol, cutting the cake and brushing a burning candle with her veil. Now, long-lost details were filled in as I watched her trying to push the burned place back so it wouldn’t show in the pictures. I saw again my grandmother; when she saw that she was being filmed, she jumped back and hid her face. Dad was smiling a lot but saying little. My mother had her camera in front of her face most of the time. And there I was. I had on a white tuxedo with black lapels, huge sideburns, and a full head of hair!
I also saw several who have since gone to heaven: Dr. Bill Draper; Carol’s grandmother, Ruby Powers; her father, Hardy Powers, my Uncle Cecil and Aunt Mildred; my grandmother; and my father. As I watched, the memories flooded in, and the tears flowed out. There’s something about being able to see scenes that I thought remained only in my mind. There is something magical or mystical—no, those words aren’t right. There is something holy about making visible the invisible.
It occurs to me that this is what you and I are doing: we are making visible the invisible. We ministers search weekly for ways to open the eyes of those who are trapped in blindness. We rise to the challenge of helping people see invisible things—things like goodness, gentleness, holiness, peace, joy, love, heaven; things like God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We spend our words and energy helping others to discover they aren’t trapped in the moment. The real and best world is not comprised of houses and cars, flesh and bone, debts and paychecks. People really can have lives that are rich and complete. They can live in a world that is far more significant than this transient one. And one day, if they surrender to this heavenly vision, they will see the reality with their own eyes.
In a few moments, I was on the phone thanking Roy profusely for giving me this precious gift. He said, “I think that is what heaven will be like . . . but 10,000 times greater.” I think Roy is right. Heaven will be more than memories. We will be able to see our loved ones again with our own eyes. We’ll be able to see all the saints we have only read about. The pure joy of my 13 minutes and 29 seconds will be experienced in magnificent multiplication for an eternity in heaven.
This is our task as ministers of the gospel—to make visible the invisible Christ. Jesus is not a memory—he is our reason for preaching and calling and leading. God has called us to continue the work of winning and preparing Christlike disciples for heaven.
This issue of Grace and Peace is on evangelism. This is not just a side issue. It is the issue. May God help us!
Pleased with the Prospects,
USA/Canada Regional Director