THE EVER-THINNING VEIL

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After walking this earth for 60 plus years, I realize more and more that many times, in dreams and other moments, I have experienced an ever-thinning veil between heaven and earth….a veil so thin each enters the space of the other. Here are some examples of those experiences:

     In 1971, still reeling from my dad’s untimely passing at 55 from a heart attack, I mourned his loss and the things he would never see…like grandkids. Then one night I had a very vivid dream. I was on a side street to the church where I got married. Outside the door of a building I saw my dad’s brother, affectionately known as Topper. He was wearing his usual navy winter coat and grey fedora. I greeted him and then he opened the door and gestured for me to enter. I asked him why?…..”You’ll see” he said smiling. When I entered the room with a cozy fire burning in a fireplace, I saw dad sitting in a chair near the hearth. I was stunned, shocked,….my brain unable to process seeing him looking more alive than before his passing. A smile of utter contentment was on his face. He wore brown corduroys and a red flannel shirt. I slowly approached him and beheld an etheral glow about him. “Dad? I said. “Is it really you?” He just continued beaming at me. I knelt down to look more closely into his face. With unspoken words he seemed to say, “I am alive, well and in a far better place”. I turned my head and rested it on his knee. Overcome with a delirious intoxication at seeing Dad again, I knew that God arranged this divine appointment, weeping softly in that moment as he stroked my hair.

     Awaiting a routine surgery in 1985, I awoke at 3 a.m. and decided to visit the hospital chapel on my floor. I entered and saw a large bible on a stand which was open to Psalm 23…The Lord is my shepherd, etc. Though I had no fear of the procedure, the verses still comforted me. Back to bed to get more rest. Half asleep with eyes still closed, I heard soft footsteps as someone entered. Warm hands lifted mine from my bed and began to squeeze them. As the intensity increased more and more, I felt unspeakable joy flowing from His hands into mine. I was expecting pain at any moment but never felt it. ….just my hands melting into His. Impassioned love flooded my entire being. Words failed to express this feeling….it was beyond words. I kept saying “thank you” over and over to my mysterious visitor. Slowly the crushing grip loosened. As it ebbed away I begged Him not to go. I awoke excitedly believing the Lord had come to me. Then rational thinking robbed me. “He was on your mind when you read the Psalm” I reasoned. Unsure I suspended the debate. Several months later I went to a church to hear the amazing story of Betty Baxter, born with twisted and matted bones (later miraculously healed). She lived her early years on a large pillow which had to be turned to face others or the tv. She was a devout Christian but weary of her afflicted life she prayed the Lord to take her to heaven one night. She slipped away and sensed herself walking in a long dark tunnel. Then Jesus came up beside her and took her hand and squeezed it very hard. My ears pricked up at this. She continued “he squeezed me so hard I thought it would hurt but it didn’t.” Then she said, “Let me tell you when Jesus squeezes your hand, it will never hurt you”. The dizzying drunkenness of the Holy Spirit fell upon me heavily and I almost fell out of the pew. Convinced this church visit was another divine appointment, the debate over my mysterious visitor ended. All lingering doubts were destroyed. In sad times, I remember this foretaste of God’s deep love and sweet peace returns.

     Years later the veil thinned yet again at an open air market in Rochester, NY when a young man with gospel tracts called out to passersby. He sweetly supplicated “Come to Jesus….be cleansed by His atoning blood”.  Most hurriedly walked past him. Ah yes….the “J” name. You can love it or hate it, run to or away from it, but never be indifferent to it. As I rested on a nearby picnic bench, I heard a guy playing guitar and singing, his case an open maw for tossed coins.  So the one to my left sought to meet his earthly needs, while the other to my right urged others to think about their spiritual destinies. These contrasting beckonings washed over and soaked into me. The poignancy of that crossroad dawned in my mind…..a point in time when heaven and earth came together on a picnic bench. Have you experienced the “ever-thinning veil”?  Be open to seeing and experiencing it and I promise those moments will surely present themselves to you.

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