The Day I Met Heaven

by DanWolgemuth on March 17, 2017

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:3)

Two weeks ago I met Heaven. Seriously. I met her.

In fact, not only did I meet her, I also held her; I sang Happy Birthday to her… and I had the privilege of praying for her.

Heaven. A beautiful one-year-old from Egypt. Heaven.

It was at a Youth For Christ staff conference in the Middle East where I met her. In so many ways she was like any other one-year-old I’ve met and held… but it was her story that made this introduction different.

Heaven was birthed out of the ashes of despair and pain. At the impromptu birthday celebration, her mother shared about her decade-long journey of brokenness and crushing disappointment.

Cancer had taken their first daughter… at only eight months. A suffocating loss that was amplified with multiple subsequent miscarriages. Grief became a way of life. And hope was desperately fragile and painfully fickle.

Then Heaven. Conceived but doubted. Carried but with the burden that only grueling disappointment can produce.

March 2016 produced an unthinkable joy. A baby. Heaven.

Named to cast unquenchable light against the darkest night. Birthed into the praying arms of a mother and father who treasured her beyond the rarest of gems. Heaven.

As the story was unwrapped in the broken cadence of translation, the emotion needed no linguistic support. Tears. Laughter. More tears. Singing. Prayers. Cake.

A circle of celebration out of the ashes of pain. Heaven.

Joy. Unconstrained joy. Heaven.

When death has dealt its final blow. Heaven.

When cancer and miscarriages and brokenness and pain have hit with unconstrained force… Heaven.

The wait was over. Heaven.

The radiant glow of Heaven.

And while the crushing weight of death still lingers, and while loss is not erased, and while the fire of pain is not extinguished… Heaven.

It’s not often I witness uncontrollable joy. It’s not often I see the unbridled exuberance of love. It’s not often I can put a face with hope… Heaven.

Yes indeed, I met Heaven.

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