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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Sights

What is the last sight you would like to see before you die? (Serendipity Bible 10th anniversary edition, p.326).

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelation 21:4 (NIV))

When I think of this question, I first asked not what place I would prefer breathing my last, but rather what emotional or intellectual state I would prefer experiencing at the final moment. The emotional and intellectual state I would choose is hope and happiness. The place of death frankly doesn't matter. For I could be happy and hopeful at home; I could be happy and hopeful at the site of our wedding at North Beach; I could be happy at the entrance to the St. Petersburg Pier where when I was having a mental episode I felt very close to God. I could be happy I think both emotionally and intellectually firmly placed within my Sunday school class, or at work in the office, or at viewing a sunset, or being surrounded by relatives and friends, or being alone. Chances are if I live to an old age, I will be feeble and frail. In this case I might be housed in a high-care facility, perhaps even a hospital lying on my back with tubes attached to my arms while I gaze at the ceiling as a television babbles in the corner. In this latter case especially, I hope to see a vision—a vision of sacredness, of light, of the face of Jesus, or the face of God—welcoming me home. In this context I would be in the same state of mind as elicited in reading the latter part of Revelations where the new Jerusalem descends bringing with it no more pain, sorrow, or death. It is an emotional and mental state that brings about hope and expectation. So I suppose this is really what I want in the end. I hope to see the faces of friends, the kind and loving faces of relatives. But if this doesn't work out, I could rest content with a personal vision of the New Jerusalem. I hope to experience an epiphany—a filling up with a sense of purpose that has an inertial force of continuance and hope that leads to the actualization of essential love projecting into eternal life. 

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