And Heaven Came Down
"Jesus came and told his disciples, 'I have been given all authority in heaven
and on earth.'" Matthew 28:18
Jesus looked down from heaven and saw all that troubled his people. He saw the uncertainty and the fear.
He saw how some fell to their knees in prayer, trusting him to care for them while the world went crazy. And it warmed his heart.
But others scurried about trying to figure out how to fix everything on their own, or shuttered themselves in their homes and paced the floors. How he yearned to comfort them, whispering at the doors of their hearts in loving patience.
Then there were those who shook their fist at Him. Rage rose from their very souls, accusing a God they didn't truly know or understand. He allowed them their anger, time and space, waiting at a distance for them to seek him. He knew that some would not.
Jesus loved them all. He sent sunshine and rain on all of his people. He died for them all. He cared. He wanted them to know him, to find solace and peace in his caring love on earth, and his eternal love in heaven.
Knowing all, he wasn't surprised when His daughter Kate walked up beside Him, there in His heavenly palace with the window to the world. His children entered his home freely whenever they sought his company.
Kate had come home to heaven quite recently in relation to the spans of time. She cleared her throat as she approached, a throwback from earth as if she might startle her omniscient Lord.
Her gentleness amused him. She'd been a spitfire back in the day.
"What a pleasure to see you, Katie."
She smiled at his endearment. "I wondered if you'd like to join me for a picnic by the beach."
"That sounds like fun. Will your family be there, or just you and me?" It was a rhetorical question, of course.
"John is coming, along with my parents and the baby." A hint of her fiery nature lit her eyes. "You know that, Lord."
"Yes, of course. Shall we?" Jesus held her hand and they walked toward the beach.
Her hand warmed in his and he knew the comfort it brought her. They walked past his Father's throne and waved to Him. Magnificent light emanated from His loving face.
Outside the palace, they stepped onto the streets of gold. His Father's house shone from within as the light of God spilled forth. Gemstones of many colors lined the palace walls, glowing like stained glass lit from within.
Kate marveled at the sight, as she always did. Jesus delighted in her enjoyment of all heaven had to offer. They walked outside the city through the radiant pearly gates.
In the pristine paradise surrounding the New Jerusalem, heaven overflowed with everything good that people enjoyed on earth -- mountains and valleys, rivers and seas, towering trees and sandy beaches.
The beach where Kate's family gathered lay beyond mountains and forests, on the other side of a great sea. He looked down at her expectant face.
"Ready?" The joy in her eyes was unmistakable, even if he didn't know all.
"Yes, Lord!" She nodded with wide eyes and a huge grin.
With a gust of wind, they rose into the air, arms outstretched. Jesus held her hand, although it wasn't necessary as all beings in heaven could fly. They looked down at the beauty of all the earth below.
On snowcapped mountains, climbers waved up at them. Skiers whooped on the lower, snowy hills. A bald eagle soared beside them with a bow of his white-feathered head before he swooped down to perch in a tall pine.
Miles and miles of dense green forest elicited the sounds of monkeys and parrots and insects, lions and tigers and bears. The sweet, gentle animals chirped and buzzed, romped and roared, as they played peacefully with one another.
Forest gave way to rolling pastures dotted with horses, cows, sheep, and bright red barns. Fields of golden wheat, tall green corn stalks, and low bushy plants yielded peppers and potatoes, carrots and tomatoes. Orchards and vineyards lent a sweet, fruity scent to the air.
Beyond the farmland, rivers and streams wound through marshes of waving green grass leading to the sea. White egrets nodded up at them and silvery fish leapt from the water.
As the beach appeared in their sight, Jesus felt Kate's excitement rise. Her family sat on a colorful plaid blanket on the sand. He recognized the pattern from their traditional heritage in England.
At once, John spied the soaring duo as they came in for a landing. He cheered in greeting and jumped to his feet. Kate hit the ground running to her friend - her husband of fifty years back on earth. The two met in an embrace that filled Jesus' heart with joy.
Then John hugged Jesus in a warm, loving welcome.
On the blanket, John found a bright bouquet of wild yellow roses, pink hibiscus, and tropical greens from the jungle nearby. He and Kate had been florists and still enjoyed flowers and gardening here in heaven.
Kate's mother had always been a phenomenal cook. She'd prepared roasted chicken sandwiches with soft Havarti cheese, crispy lettuce, and basil pesto on homemade honey oat bread.
Jesus' mouth watered as he poured the wine. He broke bread with his brothers and sisters, overjoyed in this communion and relationship that would last throughout eternity.
He'd left heaven, came down to earth to die in pain and humiliation on a rugged cross. His sacrifice had been worth it all.
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh." -- Jesus