..... to know that Jim is in Heaven? Yes, someone asked me this ...... 10 days after Jim's sudden death.
Interesting question. Should I/we be happy that Jim is in heaven? Well, of course if I were a "good" Christian then I'd have to give you the pat, "good" answer: 'Of course I'm glad that he's up there, with God, praising and singing (though he never really enjoyed singing so I'm not sure he's all THAT thrilled) and will never suffer again.'
But I think we Christians tend to gave way too many "pat" answers, mostly because we don't know what to say, or because we don't know what the hell we're talking about. So here's my real answer (because I don't feel very "good" nor "pat" at the moment):
No, I'm not happy that he's in heaven. I'm beyond furious! I think this was a stupid idea and I wish I could understand what HE was thinking when He tore such a good, decent and godly man out of our lives. He hadn't been sick; he wasn't suffering (until the morning he woke up); and I was told there was an 80 - 90% success rate for this surgery! Jim could've and should've done so much more in our community, in our church and in our family. I was making headway in getting him to go to Africa with me so he would've had an even bigger impact on our world.
Yes, I know there's the whole "My thoughts are not your thoughts" and My ways are not your ways" verse, but for the first time in my life, Bible verses seem to ring a little shallow.
It's not that I'm turning from my faith -- heck I've had that longer than I had Jim, but it just seems far away right now. God seems very far away. He felt like He was a million miles away on the 18th when so many people were in battle, praying for Jim to live ... and he did not. To use an illustration used at church the weekend before Jim died: I feel like one tiny frozen pea, lost in the Astrodome of God's galaxy.
And I don't, or can't, trust that He'll ever put me back in His arms again.
(originally posted December 29, 2007 ..... eleven days after Jim died)