When Death links us to Eternity — as a Book Does
My cousin had a remarkable experience this week as her elderly mother was dying. She left the room for a moment, and the hospice workers came running to get her.
“You have to see this,” they said, and led her back into the hospital room. There my frail aunt lay, her arms up in the air. “She’s reaching up to heaven,” one of them said.
My sister in law recounts a sudden “great big grin” on the face of her elderly mother as she passed from life to eternity.
And my best friend witnessed the sudden passing of a good friend in college, who fell prey to a virulent infection. Just before the young man passed, he sat upright in the bed in the presence of several people, pointed to the sky and said, “Look! I see the Lord!”
These are stories told to me by people I know well, and trust. I think they illustrate the permeability of the thin veil between the seen and the unseen, between the temporal and the eternal. For just those moments, people on the cusp of eternity straddled two worlds.
Although these stories are true, the telling of them reminds me of good fiction. In a way, a good book, a Christian book, introduces someone’s mind to the eternal, to ideas beyond themselves, to concepts that will tie them to their God.
We as authors become the lifting of arms to heaven, so people can see that we are sure of an eternal reward. Through our writing, we are that great big grin of recognition of the One we love the most.
And we say it, either with words or with stories, “Look! I see the Lord!”
(You can read one of my books of fiction, Latter-day Cipher: A Novel. It portrays how a Mormon woman comes to see the true and living God of the Bible.)