I carried these thoughts with me a few hours later when I went to the hospital to visit a clergy friend, Jimmy. Jimmy is 93 years old, dying of congestive heart failure. Jimmy was appointed to many churches in the former South Indiana Conference. He was a district superintendent. Jimmy's son, also a pastor, and his daughter, were in the room.
Although his breathing was labored and speech difficult to understand, he managed to say, "I am going to heaven." I realized Jimmy must be in that in-between place where his body is on earth, while his soul is already experiencing what is to come.
Reflecting later, I believe God gave me an encounter to answer the question that began my day. Jimmy shared an awareness of ending as well as beginning giving me a glimpse of Jesus' heart as he too approached death.
Thank you God for providing an experience to deepen my understanding of your Son.