07 April 2009

After the Christmas Eve service at our little Parish this year Ryan and I asked Pastor Grant a question that had been burning in our minds the past several days. Does Heaven observe Christmas with us? - is there a celebration there even grander than our celebrations here? After all, it is CHRISTMAS!


You see, as excited as we were about Christmas and the fulfilled promise of the coming Messiah, we had Evie on our minds. We needed to know what Christmas would be like for our little girl in Heaven, since we wouldn't have her here with us.

I love and will never forget his response.

He reminded us, as we knew, that Heaven is not bound by or connected with Earthly time. It is eternity (something so much bigger than my mind can grasp!). Yes, the angels in heaven celebrate when a lost sinner repents (Luke 15), but from what we know, Heaven does not celebrate by man's dates and calendars the way we do.

Instead, we can think of C.S. Lewis' description of Narnia in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. In Narnia, it was always winter, but never Christmas.

We can think of Heaven instead, as always Christmas and never winter.

Every day in Heaven is a celebration of God's fulfilled promises. Every day in Heaven is a day to sing "Joy to the World!" Every day is Christmas!

___________________________________

Today marks one year since Evie left this poor, fallen world for the splendor of Heaven. She slipped quietly, almost completely unnoticed from this world. It was our great loss, but Evie's immeasurable gain.

From his deathbed, D.L. Moody said, "Soon you will read in the newspaper that I am dead. Don't believe it for a moment. I will be more alive than ever before... Earth recedes... Heaven opens before me!"

Evie is more alive now than she ever was or could have been here on Earth. While I wish we had our little girl with her Mama's lips, her brother's white hair and her Daddy's big blue eyes today, I know there's nothing we could offer her here that could compare with the splendor of being in the presence of her Jesus. Evie won the prize - she got to skip right to the good part! And, we celebrate that with her today.

Evie's life and homegoing has taught us to be far less bolted to this earth. We are looking forward with eager anticipation to the day when we can join Evie in the presence of the Lamb.

___________________

"Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us from this place and sets us free from the snares of the world, and restores us to paradise and the kingdom. Anyone who has been in foreign lands longs to return to his own native land... We regard paradise as our native land."
- Cyprian

"When I heard that I was in the wrong place... my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring. I knew now... why I could feel homesick at home."
- G.K. Chesterton

"In the truest sense, Christian pilgrims have the best of both worlds. We have joy whenever this world reminds us of the next, and we take solace whenever it does not."
-C.S. Lewis

5 comments:

Christine said...

I am so anxious to meet her, Raechel. I'm so glad you offered up joy and praise. I know you're hurting, but you're doing a good job of giving the glory despite the hurt. We love you. We love Evie.

Katy said...

What a great vision to imagine that there is not an "anticipation" of Christmas, or the "good things" of this earth.. it always is.
I love you, and love Evie, and know that she's loved more than anyone could love her, which is hard to imagine.
We're praying for you tomorrow, today, and through this because, you should never have to feel like you have to "get over it", or feel bad about being sad about it.. of course you will be, and the blessing is that God weeps with us, and that feeling sadness, anger, disappointment and grief are real and valid feelings, and never lose hope that you can't feel that. God gives us the pain we have now to know His glory and joy that He has for us with Evie in the future for eternity.
love you sweet girl.

Susan said...

My Dear Girl,
I have thought and prayed for ways to comfort you as our memories are refreshed of Evie's fleeting moments here with us. However, I am the one comforted by your thoughts and written prayers as I read your writings today. I remember holding Evie and feeling the weight of her little body, touching her pointed finger and kissing her button nose and not wanting to let her go. I miss her so much today. This world is not our home.

Claire Wise Photography said...

Evie Grace changed my life in more ways than you can imagine Raechel. Ways I haven't been able to articulate.

She is beautiful & your family is just such a bright spot in this world - even on days when you might not feel so bright & shiny.

always,
Claire

Mindy said...

Raechel,

I don't really know how the blog comment thing works...I don't know if you'll get this. I just want you to know that your posts and your faith has opened my heart. Isn't it amazing how God gives you an experience and let's it reach others that you've never met? I can't thank you enough for sharing your experiences and thoughts. I wish I could describe what your faith has done for mine.

Blessings to you and to your family.

Mindy