Seven years ago this morning the world as I knew it changed. All of my life I tied my trust to an anchor, an immovable rock, a bastion of strength that never faded and never faltered. I set my direction and charted my course from the constancy of life displayed by that anchor. At 7:55am on October 30, 2007, that anchor moved.
On the 12th floor of the Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center, Franklin Jones “slipped the surly bonds of earth and kissed the face of God.” His life ended with the same dignity and grace in which it had been lived. My brother and my sister stood with our mother and me around his bed and counted his slowing breaths until he inhaled no more.
The most sublime expression crept across my dad’s face as his spirit man cut the tether that had held it earthbound for almost 75 years and jetted through the air to that unknown place where the saved of earth gather. His physical body accelerated its downward spiral to return to the dust from whence it came, and his spirit returned to God, it’s rightful owner.
- What must it be to exhale in Houston and to inhale in Glory?
- What must it be to hear the fading, faint sound of those you love bidding you goodbye, and slowly become aware of those you loved in a past life welcoming you with glad shouts of welcome?
- What must it be for a veil of darkness to descend over your consciousness and your eyes, and then lift to reveal a cognizance so vivid that it appears like a rainbow encircling a throne?
- What must it be to march away from the thousands who love you and will miss your discerning, guiding and knowing voice, and to march into a throng of welcoming, rejoicing and happy people who arrived in their destination because of your discerning, guiding and knowing voice?
- What must it be to bid goodbye to Earth to say hello to Paradise?
- What must it be to see the face you told so many about?
- What must be to know every prayer, every preparation, and every sermon served its purpose and completed its work?
What must it be?
I don’t know.
But my Dad knows.
How beautiful heaven must be,
Sweet home of the happy and free,
Fair haven of rest for the weary,
How beautiful heaven must be.