In The Reaches Of God Is A Whisper That Informs Us Of Best Way To Reach Heaven
By Michael H. Brown
I think it's kindness and gentleness that will be most important in determining our entry into Heaven. Kindness means love, and love leads to gentleness. Since God is love, so is Heaven. It's tough for us men to deal with this kind of language, and yet it's crucial to what happens to us after death.
Perhaps we can throw "patience" into it as well -- and that's enough to scare just about all of us!
More seriously: The other night I had one of those dreams that are a quantum leap different than a normal one and the kind you never forget. In it I was in a room in a house that wasn't my own and yet was familiar and I could sense the presence of a spirit in an adjacent room.
It was not even my home but you know how dreams can be and when I went to look, there was a middle-aged woman standing in the room looking upward.
I followed her eyes and saw that she was staring at the beautiful face of second woman at that spot where the wall met the ceiling. It was a "disembodied" image -- just her head -- but alive and sort of (but not quite like) she was on television. Her appearance was that of a vibrant, healthy 30-year-old.
She looked like she was on television but there was no television. She was a woman in Heaven, I was given to understand, and she exuded a fantastic tranquility as well as an inner beauty that just radiated outwardly. "Kindness and gentleness will get you here," she said to me.
They are words I will never forget. They went right to my spirit. It was all she said.
Kindness and gentleness.
I won't forget the message because I do believe there are times when the "other side" communicates (as we'll see in a moment) and her words are crucial at a time when there is so little kindness and gentleness and at a time when we hear the same message -- on love -- from those who have near-death experiences.
The key to gaining Heaven is not religiosity, they tell us; it's not mere devotion; it's the love that religion teaches. Without it we are wasting our time. "There are good people in bad religions and there are bad people in good religions," said one man, Dr. Howard Storm, who had an incredible near-death experience.
It's hard to love everyone. Life is a test. But if we pray long and hard enough, all of us can do it -- all of us must do it. When we are kind we are sent the angel of joy. When we love, we are breathing the power of God that heals as well as places a shield around us.
Meanwhile, do we really hear from the other side?
If you ask a viewer named Liz McGowan from Belfast in Northern Ireland, the answer is yes. And she has this little anecdote we can end with -- an anecdote about a kind woman and about a sign from the afterlife.
"My motherís sister, Josie, was a single woman whose home was nevertheless packed to the rafters with visiting nephews, nieces and countless friends," she writes. "A ten-minute errand would stretch into at least an hour by the time she stopped en route to chat with people she knew."
She was also a devout Mass-goer, says Liz -- "with an irreverent sense of humor!" And full of love.
"She loved music and in particular the parties which I remember were a regular feature of my childhood growing up during the 'Troubles in Belfast.'
"Opportunities to socialize in safety were rare in those times so our home entertainment revolved round the family rosary and a Saturday night sing-along. Shrinking violets were few and far between and all were expected to do their party piece if they ever wanted to hold their head up again in company.
"Josie always sang Because God Made Thee Mine. It was an old song and her signature tune; no one else would dream of 'stealing her thunder.'
"We had a family get-together a couple of weeks before she went into hospital for routine surgery. Josie had a morbid fear of doctors and hospitals but after much persuasion she agreed to the surgery on condition a particular surgeon whom she trusted would carry out the procedure.
"The family later found out that the surgeon was present at the start of surgery but subsequently left and directed another very inexperienced junior doctor to carry on. Put simply, the junior doctor perforated a major blood vessel but made no mention of the incident in her notes. Josie was transferred to the ward and was due to be discharged the following day provided she was mobile.
"My aunt suffered a massive gas embolism (air bubble) in her lung and died just before discharge. The autopsy report confirmed the familyís suspicions that we werenít being told the full story which made accepting her death much harder, especially when the junior doctor left the country soon afterwards.
"It is some measure of her character and popularity that there were almost four hundred Mass Cards at her wake and countless mourners at her requiem Mass.
"A few weeks later my sister was hospitalized for the same surgery and in addition to being very worried was still grief stricken and begged God to just let her know Josie was at peace," continues our Irish friend. "A short time later a young doctor came in with a violin and a big smile and said he would play for the patients if they felt well enough. My sister wasnít exactly in form for listening to music but kept silent as the doctor, introducing the first melody said, 'This is a really old but lovely song.' Youíve guessed it Ė it was Because God Made Thee Mine.
"My sisterís surgery was successful and her mind Ė and ours -- were eased. Godís whisper is very clear!"
Right you are Liz. And the more we love, the clearer that whisper becomes.
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