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Hiking in Heaven

I believe God speaks to us and in my case He does so with a picture snapshot.  As I start to talk about the the picture, the story it has to tell starts to unfold.  The image is persistent and the story is always encouraging.

Female Hiker Standing On Toe With Man

Today we laid to rest Margaret Weagley, mother of four and grandmother to two generations that include my wife and kids.  She was also a dear grandmother to me.

Grandma grew up in faith from a young age, and I believe she accepted Jesus as her savior and lived in an enduring relationship with Him.   While the testimonies of all who knew her will attest to an easy going, kind, and loving woman who left the people and the world she touched better for her presence, “the only way to the Father is through His Son Jesus Christ”.  The snapshot that kept coming back to sooth my grief this week was of her arrival in heaven.

Jesus came running to her and called her by name, “Welcome home, good and faithful Margaret”.  They embraced and they worshiped God together.  But I saw something over Jesus’ left shoulder.

Grandma’s lifelong love of the outdoors, camping, and exploring featured prominently in the stories that were shared these past few days.  As walking became more difficult in her later years, a ride through the countryside, often with no particular destination,  was a coveted escape.  The love of the outdoors was an indelible part of who she was and a legacy that will persist in her kids, grandkids, great grandkids and beyond.

Over Jesus’ shoulder I saw a handsome man , and dangling over his shoulder were a pair of leather hiking boots tied together at the laces.   He was shifting on his feet and bouncing on his toes, eagerly waiting to steal Grandma away.

When it was his turn he knelt down, helped her put on the boots and said, “We have so much to explore.”  And Grandma took off with her Bill and with a skip in their step they went hiking in heaven.   “There is ice cream at the top!”, he said.  And in heaven that may actually be true.

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