Sunday, December 06, 2009

time, space and turning 30

Candyce called from Africa and woke me up last night. It was about 11:30 pm Saturday my time--for her it was Sunday morning. Even though we separated by a great span of time and distance, our hearts were snugly connected during that brief conversation.

I sat in my bed, shivering in the Portland cold, while Candyce described the intense heat she was experiencing. I felt I could almost reach out and wipe the sweat from her sweet face--and that warmed me in some strange way. Maybe a mother's heart can transcend all distances :)

After I hung up--actually the line went dead--I was wide awake, so I spent some time praying for her peace and safety in that strange and faraway land. By the time I sad "amen," I realized Saturday rolled on over to Sunday.

And this particular Sunday just happens to be Jonah's 30th brithday!

Still wide awake, I thought about Jonah and wondered how--or if--people age in heaven. Jonah was four years old when he died. Is he still a child--or has Jonah grown into a man? I've been taught that God--and eternity--exist outside our time and space continuum. That's why He can see the future and has numbered our days before even one of them came to pass. God is the great I Am, the same yesterday, today and forever. One day is to Him as a thousand years, and a thousands years as a single day!

Easy for God, but hard to wrap my finite mind around!

As I was trying to decide if grown-up Jonah would be shooting the breeze with Jesus today; or if a much younger child would be playing happily at His feet, I recalled an interesting conversation I'd had recently--which raised another question about time in eternity.

I met a dear woman a few weeks back who heard me share the story of the car accident that took Jonah's life in 1984. She sought me out in the crowded room and told me the story of her son's tragic death. Tim had died nine years ago in a car crash at the age of 20.

"The holidays are always the hardest, since his birthday is in December," Donna, his mother, admitted.

"Really? So is Jonah's. What day was Tim born? " I asked.

"December 6," she answered.

Even though I have no left brain to speak of, the two functioning cells I have did the math . . . Tim died nine years ago, was 20 when he died and will probably turn 30 on the next birthday.

"So, what year was Tim born?" I asked, already knowing the answer.

"1979," Donna said, eyes widening at our discovery.

Our sons had been born on the exact same day, had died in car crashes, and were going to be turning 30 together in heaven! How amazing is that??? We had just met, but Donna and I have eternally bonded from that point on . . .

So now I'm wondering, will Tim and Jonah be the same age in heaven? Jonah's been there 25 years while Tim has only been in glory for nine--according to our understanding of time. Will they know it's their earthly birthday--and will their paths cross like mine and Donna's did here in Oregon?

I don't suppose it really matters, but mothers sometimes ponder such things. And whether or not Jonah and Tim are celebrating the day of their birth in heaven, their families are certainly remembering them on this special day on earth.

Jonah, we will eat cherry cheese cake in your honor, as we've done the past 25 years. And Tim, I will say a prayer for your family, that His Spirit will fill that empty place in their hearts.

Happy birthday, boys!


Maranda Burkett said...

Wow Shawn! Thanks for sharing. I always love reading your writings. Love the new look of your page!!! ~Maranda

Pamela Harvey said...

That gave me chills....I love how God still finds amazing ways to comfort you after so many years. What an amazing story!

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