My father has dementia and is closer to heaven than ever. Recently my mother’s brother changed his residence to heaven. I wanted to ask my mother how she feels about heaven now. Also, I wanted to know how she has changed in the last years. Does she feel in-between heaven and earth?
In-Between Heaven and Earth
Me: What does that phrase mean to you?
Mom: I’m feeling more of an awareness of frailty. I am nearer to God now than I am to the world. There is an awareness of God’s presence in my life. I feel His Presence daily.
Me: How has your view of Heaven and Earth changed since your father died?
Mom: Since my father died over 40 years ago, many things have changed. My mother is gone, and now two brothers have left this earth. My oldest son and youngest grandson now reside in heaven.
This earth is temporary and I don’t belong here. I’m only passing through. It feels good to know I’ll be leaving soon.
Now I can see the presence and love of God while I watch clouds or feel the ripple of wind. God loves beautiful things and He shows me in every patch of color.
Me: How has your relationship with God, the Father changed if at all?
Mom: Once a young youth minister in Bible Study said, “If you haven’t suffered, you don’t really know God.” I wondered how that could be true. At the time, I was painting, playing at church, and enjoying deep friendships. But I was not suffering. I’m making up for it now.
I have learned what trusting God is. There are more things I have to trust him for. It is easier to think we are trusting God when we have life “under control.” I understand what my Mom and her sister, Aunt Irene, meant when they’d say, “Hurry up and teach me what You want me to know so I can leave this earth!”
Word Association – Heaven
- joy of heaven – singing, praise, joy, jumping up and down kind of joy, victory, praise Him and learn more about Him.
- piece of heaven – joy which creeps in your heart when you contemplate the glory of heaven
- heaven-ready – attitude of the mind and heart, to see God and know God and live with Him, making sure Daddy doesn’t forget who God is and he is ready for heaven, more aware of God in every moment
- longing for heaven – all our lives we long for things. Heaven drives every earthly longing away. Heaven is our hope.
- In God’s pocket – My cousin Matt said about this about our grandpa: “He is in God’s pocket now.” This was at our grandpa’s funeral. God is gathering saints and putting them in his pockets, guarding them carefully.
What is in-between heaven and earth? The taste of heaven each day, in a child’s smile, a hug, a warm sunbeam on a spring morning, color bursting forth in the spring, these earthly glories are just a taste of heaven’s glories.
My grandma didn’t want to go through the process of getting to heaven. It was too hard. It requires the final test of trust in God to close our eyes and let go.
When my grandpa died, he smiled. My mom thought he saw his “Momma.”
My great-grandpa Suderman listened to the song, Green Pastures. When it was over, he spoke into the silence, “That’s where I want to be.” And he went just a few days later.
What is your experience of in-between heaven and earth? Comment below to share your story.