Sunday, July 8, 2012

"Wake me up, Jesus."

I wrote a story a few years back when I still lived in Calgary.  The story was a conversation I had with Jesus.  Heaven was the setting and the conversation took place after I had committed suicide.  The story was entitled "Walking off the field."  (click on the link to be connected to the blog post.)  

I wanted to address the subject of suicide and what would possibly be Jesus' response to his child after such a tragic end to life.  For someone so familiar with depression, I have also been familiar with suicidal thoughts.  I understand what it is like to feel like there is no purpose in life.  I understand the desire to leave everything on earth behind and pursue a life with no pain and no tears.  Thankfully enough for me and for those who love me, I never acted on those thoughts.  I don't think I ever had the courage to see it through.

I was thinking about my conversation with Jesus again.  This time it wasn't after a successful suicide.  It was after a death that I had no control of.  I have often wondered about that moment. Following is the conversation that I wrote called : "Wake me up, Jesus!"  

Please note:  My understanding and imagination of Heaven has changed in the last five years.  You may notice that difference when you read "Walking off the field"                                                

Wake me up, Jesus!

Falling asleep... that is how Jesus called death in this world.  To fall asleep in one world would indicate I can awake in another.  What that world would be is  yet to be known.  Is it a new Heaven or a new Earth?  To awake in the new world, where would I awake?  I would like to imagine myself on a grassy lakeshore surrounded by the sweet smell of wild flowers.  I would hear the movement of the water lapping on the shore from the gentle breeze that caressed its surface. 

J: Ruby.

The sound of His voice drifted in and out of my subconscience mind.  I knew that voice.

J: Ruby.

I had heard the sound of my name on His breath before .  It was more of a whisper then, not as clear as I was hearing Him now.

J: Ruby... you can wake up now.

R: I know you

J: Yes, you do.

R: I am dreaming.  I must be dreaming.  But I don't remember falling asleep.

J: What do you remember?

R: Driving.  I remember driving.

J: You were.

I sat up and glanced at my surroundings.  It was beautiful.  I was lying on a mossy patch  on a hill overlooking a beautiful green coloured lake, reminiscent of the copper tinted waters I had seen before in Banff National Park.  The landscape was speckled with wild flowers... colours of red, blue, yellow and lavender. I saw hills across the lake, in the distance, covered in evergreens. 

R: Where am I?  I have never had such a beautiful dream.

J: If this were a dream, you would be in the middle of your most creative imagination.

R: I have imagined a place much like this, but the beauty is so much more than I could have ever imagined. 

J: Ruby.

R: Yes.

J: You aren't dreaming.  This is very real.

I looked at the lake shore .  All the trees lined the shore were full of life.  There was no dead wood to see. I perused the banks and the grassy hill.  I could see a perfection in the creation before me. I looked back at the One who had awakened me. 

J: What are you seeing, Ruby?

R: Perfection, flawless perfection.

J: That is what We created in the beginning, that is what it is here.

R: If this is real, not a dream... am I...?

J: Yes, child. 

R: Dead?

J: To those who knew you in your life before... Yes.

R: I don't live anymore?

J: You live, but you live here now. 

R: Death, A doorway to life.  I wrote a poem about that once.

J:  "Death is but a doorway that leads the lover home."

R: Yeah, that one.  I wrote so many.  I can't remember them all. 

J:  I liked your poetry.

R:  Thank you.  For someone so challenged in the realm of communication, it was a very helpful way of getting my thoughts out. 

My head hung as I thought in that moment of the one I left behind.  Remembering the feeling of loosing someone, I thought of how he must be feeling at the loss of his wife.  This was not an easy road for anyone.  It would not be easy for him.

J: You are happy to be here, but not happy to be here without him.

R:  I didn't want to be the first one to go.

J:  You would have chosen to spare him the pain of losing you?

R: Yes. I would have chosen to endure the pain of losing him to keep him from feeling the pain of my death.

J: It wasn't your choice.

R: What happened?

J: Is the knowledge of the event important to you now?

R: Yes, I want to know what he is facing now.

J: He is facing a lot of things right now.  He just lost his wife in a car accident.  He is in pain, but he is not alone.

R: I still don't understand.

J:  Do you want to understand?

R: Yes, I want to.  This is the place where I get to see clearly, right?

J: Yes.  Come with me to the lake shore.

He took me by the hand and we walked down the bank.  There was no beach, but a pebbly  bank.  The collection of rocks was so diverse.  I remember as a child, the fascination I had with collecting rocks of different sizes and colours.  Even as an adult, I had mixed rocks with my flowers and an ornamental display.  Rocks were something of a gemstone to me.  And instead of the much publicized streets of gold... I was walking with Jesus on a beautiful rock bed. 

He picked up a small flat stone and gave it to me. 

J:  Here... let's see how far you can skip it.

I must have looked puzzled.  I looked at the stone and looked back at my new companion.  I had been so focused at taking in the surroundings that I didn't notice until that moment the one stood on the river bank with me.  Every picture I had of Jesus in my mind (except for one) had him dressed in a long white robe and sandles.  There he stood in blue jeans and a white t-shirt and bare feet.  I remembered back to that time when that was the exact image I had created for the actor that portrayed Him in a one-act play that I had written and directed. 

J: Well, are you going to skip the stone or just stand there and admire my Levi's? 

He laughed and picked up another rock much like the one he had given me.  1-2-3-4-5-6 times the rock skipped when He threw it on the water. 

J: Your turn. 

I took the stone and threw it as best as I could remember.  1-2-3 times it skipped before sinking in the water. 

J:  It must have been the stone.  Your form is excellent.  

R: Why...

J:  The most asked three letter word. 

R:  Why blue jeans?

J:  I might ask you that?  You were the director.  You did the costume selection. 

R:  It seemed appropriate for the day and age I lived in.  No one complained. 

J:  Artistic interpretation.

R: I guess.  It just seemed to fit the spirit of the play.

Jesus picked up another stone and skipped it a little farther this time.  1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8.  

J: Do you still want answers?  Sometimes it only takes a game of stone skipping to make someone forget their need for answers.

R: I guess I don't need them.  I trust you even if those questions go unanswered.

J:  Even now?

R: Even now.

It was then I noticed he was carrying a book in his hand.  He showed me the book cover.  I smiled.  It was mine.  It was the book of poetry that I had published in my fortieth year - "Still Broken". 

J:  Tell me about your favourite poem in here.  

He ruffled through the pages.

R:  I have a few.  "Provider of Peace", "Moulder of the Sunset" are very special, because you helped me create them.  Which ones are Your favourite, if you don't mind me asking?

J: Are you looking for approval?

R: I don't think so.  Am I?

J: To answer your question.  I liked them all.  They came from your heart and your life.  You are precious to me and what comes out of your heart is also precious.  Back to you... what other poem is extra special for you.

R: "Crossing Jordon" is one of my favourites. The poem I wrote for my Dad before he passed... ah.... before he came here.

J:  It was extra special that you could read it to him while he was still able to listen.

I thought of my dad.  If I was dead and this was life after death, then I would be able to see him.  I would be able to see a lot of people I had loved and lost.

J: You are thinking of your father.  You would like to see him... And you will.  Time is not a restraint here.  This is Eternity.  You will see the ones who came here before you, but you will be surprised at who you will see next.

R: I am enjoying seeing You.  You are the One I wanted to see the most.

J:  Remember what I just said about time not being a restraint here?

R: I heard that, but all I have known is time.  It is hard for me to understand existence without the restraint of time.

J:  Let me show you someone who is as anxious to see you as you are to see him.

R:  Dad?  I have missed him so much.

J:  No, not your Dad.  Turn around and look who is coming.

I turned around and looked to see who Jesus was talking about.  I looked and I saw someone I hadn't seen for only a few minutes, not a few years.  It was my husband.  He was coming toward us.  I wanted to run toward him, but I couldn't move from Jesus's side.  I just stood and watched as the other love of my life walked closer to me.  

J:   He lived on for a while after he lost you to death.  It was painful for him, but he had me with him and the help of close friends and family.  He waited until I brought him here.  Life as you once knew on Earth is over.  Those you left behind are here too.  Time as you once knew is no longer.  My Father has set things right.

I sat on this story for a while.  I actually started writing it last year.  But thinking about yesterday's events brought me back to this post.  
(see previous post for that story "If Tomorrow Never Comes")

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