Heaven Isn’t Too Far Away

Two Mondays ago…

It’s early afternoon, Monday. I’m sprawled on the living room floor, sun shining through the window, building Lego Transformer Robots that can double as airplanes (not my forte). I’m replaying the day’s activities so far, and reflecting on how nice it’s been: getting back to the routine, going back to swimming lessons, finishing an exhilarating phone call with a screenprinting guy who’s creating a logo for our elementary school’s Running Club. I replay the conversation in my head about the logo design, color, style, print quantities.

“Dad would totally dig hearing about this,” I think.

I can hear his voice in my head…the questions, the comments, the chuckles, the curiosity…the interest.

I feel a tightness in my stomach, like a twinge.

I look at my fingers, they want to reach for the phone.

I miss him. Deeply. It’s almost a physical pain.

In that moment, I am struck by the song that comes on the radio, and it takes me back to the morning dad died (and it’s not Warrant’s 1989 power ballad “Heaven”  which, interestingly enough, happened to be playing on Sirius XM’s Hair Nation when I got in the car that Sunday morning).

I’m standing in church with my husband and 8-year-old son, listening to the band’s worship music. Now, when I’m at church my praise style is pretty conservative. Sure, I’ll raise my candle high as we sing Silent Night on Christmas Eve. But put me at any other service, whether contemporary or traditional, and I’m kind of reserved. I clap. At most, I sway. Give me seats at a Bon Jovi concert and I can rock out with the best of ’em. But when I’m at church, I’m pretty laid-back. I do sing at the top of my lungs (but that’s only because no one can hear me.)  But on this morning, the morning my dad died, we get to the chorus of the song we’re singing. ..

Savior, He can move the mountains
My God is mighty to save, he is mighty to save
Forever, Author of Salvation

This word echoes from my prayer the night before, “God, you are the Author, and Huckster is the ultimate storyteller. Finish the story as you will…”

He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave

Suddenly, my hands are up. I cannot help myself. I am moved. I am reaching up, up to the Heavens, up to where my dad is, where he went just a few hours ago. Reaching like I never have before. Reaching up to God who now sits face-to-face with my dad, one of His newest arrivals. Reaching up to dad, in an earthly farewell. I am worshiping. I am saying goodbye. The tears flow, uncontrollably, and my hands reach higher, as if I can touch Heaven.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We’re singing
For the glory of the risen king, Jesus

Shine your light and let the whole world see
We’re singing 
For the glory of the risen king 

I am back in the living room, missing my dad. And in those moments when I wish I could be sharing a simple screenprinting conversation with him, I am comforted by the words of a song, and I am reminded that dad is there, and God is there: all I need to do is reach.

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9 thoughts on “Heaven Isn’t Too Far Away

  1. Rather than thanks, I should say I admire your steadfast faith. Although thanks is appropriate too, it’s more than thankfulness, it’s deep admiration.

  2. So beautifully written. I can totally relate to the “physical pain” part. I never expected that. Big Hugs from Central Cali comin at ya!!

  3. What an amazing post. I certainly know that feeling of wanting to pick-up the phone to share something with one who has passed. Eighteen months later, I still reach for the phone during a good sports moment to hash it over with my brother.

    Keep reaching your arms high. He (big H and little h) know that you’re reaching out toward them.

    And for the record, I cannot believe “Heaven” was playing when you got the call.

  4. Beautiful Kira. That’s one of my favorite songs. I have tears in my eyes but you are soooo right. He is mighty to save. Keep on blessing us with your words. Love you. Cyn

  5. I read this last night and posted a comment from my phone but it didn’t post for some reason. It’s just as well, though, because I had a crazy dream last night that I know was prompted by reading your post. It’s kind of a long story, but for the first time in a long time, I had a dream about my dad, and it was like a reminder that yes, they are still there watching us for the important moments and standing by our side even though we may not realize it. It was really powerful and symbolic–will have to share it with you over the phone sometime soon. So yes, Heaven isn’t too far away! The other song you quoted is my absolute favorite at church and it always makes me want to put my hands up even though I am always too shy or self-conscious to do it! Kudos to you for letting the emotion take over and allowing yourself to just FEEL. It’s the only way to get through it is to allow yourself to experience the grief. Now I can look at those moments and these dreams and feel grateful to have them instead of just hurting and missing him. Takes a long time but looking back, the journey is worthwhile. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with all of us!

  6. Amen, sister! Go ahead and have your conversation. He’s listening! You might even hear a little chuckle! Love that song too! It’s a special one in our household as well. XO!

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