“Mark!” Mom called out. Then she called again “Mark!” When she received no response she tried again “Mark, are you out there?” He gave her heart a jump when he suddenly appeared on the steps saying “Yes mom?” Mom could see by the big smile on his face that her being startled was certainly his intention. She was about to tell him to not do that, but instead she just smiled and told him it was time to wash up and eat his lunch.
As he passed by her she admired her son’s handsome features and sturdy young boy build. He was a good looking boy and the girls his age steadily proved that by their coming around and wanting to be her friend.
At the kitchen table they shared a prayer, thanking God for their food and the roof over their head. Mom then asked him “Honey, what were you doing in the back yard?”
“Um, nothing,” He gave his usual response. He then, without a second thought, began to tell her about what he had been doing. “I was just lying in the grass under the mustard tree. I was being quiet, just trying to listen to the sound of the birds, the cars, and Jerry’s little dog barking.”
“Hmm,” Mom replied. “I guess you were bored.”
“Nope, just relaxing.” Mark clarified. “Sometimes a guy can get a lot of thinking done just lying in the grass.”
“Did you get a lot of thinking done?” Mom asked, slightly amused.
“At first I was just listening,” he began, “but then I thought I would think about heaven.”
Now Mom was curious and asked “So what were your thoughts?”
“I began to think about what I know about God. I remembered hearing Pastor saying that we should take quiet time and wait to hear from God. So I was just quiet for a while and I felt so, um, comfortable. I felt so nice, uh, you know, I guess I just felt very loved.”
Mom almost audibly gasped.
“Then I thought that I would think about heaven,” Mark continued. “I was thinking about how heaven must look. It wasn’t easy to imagine, but what I then thought was that it must be very green in heaven. I imagined I could see hills with green grass and lots of big strong trees. Along with the trees were rivers, big and small ones, and creeks and lakes and ponds. I could hear birds singing. These birds seemed like very happy birds singing the happiest sounds you could ever hear a bird sing. I saw lions playing tag with sheep and dogs and cats running around chasing each other. All the animals loved each other. None of them were fighting. As I walked along I stopped to sit next to a nice big tree. As I leaned against the tree I heard someone ask ‘Comfy?’”
“I looked around but couldn’t tell where it came from. So I sat again and rested against the tree and again heard ‘Comfy?’”
Again I looked around and again I couldn’t tell where the voice was coming from. I stood up and looked in the tree to see if someone was hiding up there.”
“What did you see?” Mom, caught up in her son’s story, asked.
“At first nothing. Suddenly I was totally freaked out as I saw a face on the tree smiling at me. I tried to move backward so fast that I fell right down onto my bottom!”
“Oh my goodness!”
“Yeah, I know, huh?” Mark agreed. He then continued “Then I saw the tree’s face open its mouth wide and a big deep laugh came out. The tree laughed so hard that it snorted!”
“What did you do then?”
“Suddenly I was no longer afraid. In fact, the laughing and snorting of the tree were so funny that I also began to laugh and snort. Pretty soon we were both laughing so hard at each other’s laughing and snorting that I think we laughed for about ten minutes straight. Then as I began to stop laughing I heard other laughing. Some laughs were big loud deep laughs and some were very small squeaky laughs. As I looked around I noticed that many animals had come around the tree and I and they had started laughing with us.”
“Amazing!” was all Mom could utter.
“Yeah, but the funny thing about it was that it didn’t scare me, and didn’t even seem strange to me. Talking trees and animals just seemed like, uh, well kinda natural. It just seemed like it was all normal. Not only did all the trees and animals talk, but so did all the plants and all the insects. All of us loved each other as if we had known each other our whole lives. Like we were all one family. The weasels were really funny, always joking. I felt like I was in the most loving and beautiful place there could ever be. I felt like I could spend eternity there. I couldn’t imagine a better place ever. But then, it got better!”
“No way!” Mom exclaimed. “How could it get better?
“Because suddenly all the animals and all the plants got very excited, but very quiet, and they turned to look just behind the tree and I. So I turned to look and there He was Mom. About five feet away was Jesus. He was smiling real big and wiping some tears from His eyes. He had been right there laughing with us. In fact, he was part talking, part crying and part laughing when He said to me “Well Mark that was a really good laugh! I did enjoy watching you all have fun!”
“Wow, how neat!” was all Mom could get out.
“I know!” Mark agreed. “Then He said ‘You know Mark, I love you so much, we all do.’ Then he waved His hand to point to the animals and also to point up in the sky and the branches of the trees. In the sky and trees there were like a gazillion angels all around. They had been laughing with us too. Mom, it was so amazing, everyone loved everyone. Everyone got along. The light around us was bright and warm and somehow part of the love that everyone felt. The whole place was too beautiful and too wonderful to describe.”
Mom had to close her dropped jaw to ask “And then what happened?”
Mark smiled at her and responded “Then I heard you calling me. I turned to Jesus who smiled at me and nodded ‘Yes.’ I understood that He was telling me to end my imagining and answer you. Suddenly my thoughts faded and the last thing I heard and saw was the trees and animals saying goodbye”
“Oh honey I’m sorry to interrupt that you!” Mom apologized.
“No Mom, it’s okay.” Mark comforted her. The next thought I had was a verse that you had talked to me about this morning. You know, in 2 Corinthians where it says that we can’t even begin to imagine what God has in store for us. So you know what Mom?”
“As beautiful and awesome as that was, it is not even close to as beautiful and awesome as it is really going to be!”
“You know Mark,” Mom replied, “I totally agree with you. Whatever we can imagine, doesn’t even begin to compare to what it will be. It’s gonna be pretty tight dude!”
“Yeah Mom, it’s gonna be tight! I’m glad we’ll be there together.”
2 Corinthians 2:9 – 9 However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived”—the things God has prepared for those who love him.
IHS 3-2-14This entry was posted in Stories and tagged Beauty, birds, boy, cats, creek, dogs, God, handsome, happy, Heaven, imagine, Jesus, lake, laughing, lion, Love, Mom, pond, river, sheep, singing, snort, Son, tree by Bob with