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Previous Message From Virtual Church

Party On!

Allison had known Terrance all her life. They had grown up in the same small town, had gone to the same church, and were in the same class in school from first grade until they graduated from high school in the early 60's. After his time in the military and college, Terrance had moved back to Hillside to raise a family and run his dad's wholesale business. When Terrance was about 40, he had a terrible accident crippling him for life. His wife and children left him two years later.

Allison looked in on Terrance every few days to make sure he was stable and see if he needed anything from the grocery. Allison ran as many of Terrance's errands as she could. There was no romantic interest between them. They were just good friends over many decades of knowing each other.

Terrance was in continual pain and suffering. There was nothing anyone could do for him. He had learned to be philosophical about the issue if it is possible to be philosophical about pain while one is in the pain.

Allison knocked on the front door of Terrance's apartment and then let herself in. She saw Terrance staring out the window. Terrance said, "Hi Allison, thanks for stopping by. You will never know how much I appreciate what you do for me. I would be in a nursing home if it were not for you. Allison, I have been given answers during the last week. Can you sit a spell?" Allison said, "Sure, I have no place to go. Since Tom died, I have more time than I want." Tom was Allison's deceased husband. Allison sat down in a chair next to the window so she was facing Terrance. Allison noticed Terrance looked different. Terrance looked brighter and younger. He almost looked like he did in high school. The gray in his hair was gone. The lines in his face were gone. He looked incredibly young for someone 60 years old.

Terrance started by saying, "What I am going to tell you, I want you to pass on. Allison, I have seen God. When I saw Him, He gave me answers and secrets few people get to hear. He told me my accident, my wife leaving, my kids leaving, and my pain and suffering were like clay in my hands. My purpose, or one of my purposes, was to shape these bad things into whatever I wanted. He wants everyone to shape their adversities into something glorifying Him. Of course, I am not sure how to do that unless I just pray for others all the time which is probably what I need to continue to do. I am willing to do what God wants, if I just knew how. He also told me the direction or intention of my heart was the starting point of all glorification of His love. His wisdom about the intention of my heart is my answer to how I shape the clay of my adversities. He also said He was very upset with how things are going here on earth. He said the people of the earth have not preserved the earth enough and they do not love each other enough. We take too much of the earth and nature for granted. We also take each other for granted. All people have made grievous mistakes when interacting with His creation. He said people do not understand how much love there is in the substance of His being. He said everything He created and creates is fashioned in love and by love. To be near Him and understand more about Him, we need to understand more about love. He said pain, suffering, and heartache in life are not His doing. Although pain, suffering, and heartache are a part of our reality, there was in the beginning a separation of the dark from the light. For those of us who live with Him in the future, there will be a separation between the dark and the light once again like there was in the beginning. He also told me I am going to really live soon. He did not use the word "die" because for Him, people do not "die." In His eyes, people start living when they ascend up His stairway to heaven. He was such a good person. He was so loving, caring, kind, compassionate, and joyful. He was full of power to make you feel His love forever. I cannot wait to see Him again. He said my pain and suffering block out His love from my heart but I should not be concerned because in the end He will make all things new, take me out of my wheelchair, and put me in paradise where His sights, sounds, aromas, and euphoria last forever."

Allison listened intently, smiling a gentle smile, Allison asked, "Did he tell you anything else?" Terrance looked more intently out the window and said, "Yes, He said He wanted you to know these things and pass them on to someone you know who is writing a novel. The novel will be a best seller and His truth He shared with me will be shared with others. He also explained how some things life and in our world have to break down in order for Him to rebuild or remake them. I understand so much more now about how and why things are like they are. He told me a person's life sometimes has to come apart at the seams in order for Him to help the person put things back together. The same is true for the world. This breakdown-put-back-together thing does not happen all the time for all persons, but for many people it does. He also said we accumulate so much garbage in our life we have to get rid of the garbage and start over. I understand now what repentance means and what repentance is. Repentance is getting rid of the horrible burden of guilt we feel as well as turning away from our old life and turning to a new life. The old has to be broken down in order to be discarded. He also told me love is the only thing in life that makes any real difference. When a person is born in love and lives in love, that person's life is blessed. When a person is not born in love and does not live in love then that person's life is a life full of curses. He said everything about Him connects to love."

Allison's eyes began to fill with tears as she thought back to the death of her son, Raymond. Terrance saw her emotion and knew her thoughts. Terrance spoke with love and compassion and said, "Allison, you might think you lost Raymond, but God gained him. If you could know all about where Raymond is right now and how Raymond is right now, your grief would be turned to joy. Raymond is in heaven. Raymond will live forever in bliss and euphoria unlike anything anyone could even begin to describe. Soon, you and Raymond will be united again. You will be together forever." Allison smiled a slight smile and said, "Thank you. I needed that."

Terrance continued, "One of these days when you come here, I will be gone. I will have gotten up out of my wheelchair, sailed upward, and will be the happiest human being in all creation. Do not weep. Do not mourn. Do not grieve. Because someday I will experience the greatest moment any person could ever experience. It'll be a party! It'll be a blast! Soon after I go home, you will follow. Be sure to pass on what I have told you."

After a brief pause, Terrance said, "As far as getting me any groceries, I don't need anything this week. I sure appreciate your stopping by." Allison knew this was her cue. She got up, kissed Terrance on the forehead, and said, "OK, I'll pass everything on. I'll check back on Monday. Good-bye Terrance." Terrance smiled and said, "Goodbye, Alley, party on!"

Allison checked back on Monday, but on Monday Terrance was gone. In Terrance's wheelchair was a party hat.

Party on!

Luke 15:32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' " (NIV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

This facetious story first appeared in May, 2007, in the Virtual Church web site at http://www.findthepower.com

   

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018