A few months ago my dad had a heart attack. It was a Friday night and apparently there were two heart attacks back to back. That Saturday I took Luke to his basketball game and was planning on visiting him afterwards with the family. My dad needed rest so Lindsay decided to take the kids home after the game and I went to visit my dad in the hospital.
He looked great. He was sitting up and talking with more energy then I had noticed in the past few months. He would be fine I thought.
That Saturday night I received a phone call at 11:30pm from my mom. My dad had another heart attack and this time it didn’t look good. I jumped out of bed and raced to the car. As I was leaving Lindsay heard me say “well, my dad is going to die tonight.” This struck her because I was so calm. In a span of 28 hours my dad suffered three heart attacks. Which brings me to this week’s What If Wednesday.
What If my Dad had died?
I live in Monroe, WA which is far from a lot of Seattle and the surrounding cities. On my drive I had a vision of my dad in heaven. What I saw was my dad standing in front of a small group of people that had their arms crossed and were looking down on him. These were people he had hurt, people that were disappointed to see him in Heaven. What surprised me was that these individuals were also in heaven.
In all my years I have never seen my dad cry. What I say in heaven however were gushing tears of repentance. My dad was ashamed and tried to approach this group of arm-crossers but couldn’t get close. He also couldn’t say anything to them, or if he was trying to speak they couldn’t hear him. There were about 6 or 8 of them.
My dad saw that he couldn’t get through to them which is when I saw Jesus enter the picture. Again, to see my dad as a child was shocking to me. He embraced Jesus as a child would embrace a parent after a long vacation. He rested his head into Jesus’ chest and started to wipe away my dad’s tears.
Every effort was made in trying to walk Jesus toward the group of arm-crossers but Jesus wasn’t moving. Instead he turned my dad around to look at what was behind him.
The next thing I saw struck me so that I almost pulled the car over (remember, this was a vision and I was still driving). Jesus had wiped away all my dad’s tears, He still had his arms around my dad’s shoulder. What he showed my dad was hundreds, actually thousands, of people that were smiling and waiting to speak to him. In front of the group of thousands were seven little girls. His daughters. After my brother and I were born my mother had seven miscarriages. They had always wanted a daughter but having a sister was never meant to be.
The girls rushed over to my dad and embraced him calling him daddy. They were so happy to see him. My dad, who is not a ‘hugging’ kind of guy, hugged them and kissed them all over. They grabbed his hand and walked with him to the group of thousands. There were so many people reaching out to him thanking him, people that he had never met.
Someone thanked him for teaching at their class. Another thanked him for training ministers, for it was one of his students that taught someone who started a mega-church impacting a tremendous amount of people. There were people from Hawaii, people from India, people from California, people from all over the place.
My dad tried to turn back to talk to the small group of cross-overs but was enveloped by the sea of people. There was no going back.
The peace I felt the rest of the drive helped my conversations with my mother as we headed to the hospital. And come to find out my dad is a scrapper. A fighter who is alive and well today.
I’ve often wondered why I’m wired the way I am, someone that doesn’t quit and always wants to reconcile with others. This vision helped me understand that I’m just like my dad.
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”