The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Imagine Heaven!

Dessa Rodeffer, Quill Publisher/Owner

May 29, 2019

My friend Joyce Louden of Stronghurst had been talking a lot about heaven since her husband died on September 7th. In fact, she had read so much about it she would hush me and ask me to listen while she read from one of the many books she had been reading, so I'd know just how glorious it will be.

I've known about heaven all my life and have listened to enough of near-death testimonies, I know it would just be pure selfish of me to wish someone back who has gone there. But, you must understand, that Joyce was like a mom to me and a best friend. As much as she wanted to be in heaven with Jesus, and with her son and daughter, her husband, and all her siblings and parents who had gone before her, I just hate not having Joyce here to talk to, or to laugh with, to discuss politics, or what new thing in the community was developing, or cheering on the Cubs or a local sports team, visiting about family members, neighbors and friends.

When I tried to explain that to Joyce, that I needed her here, and that we all did who loved her, Joyce would just look at me and say, "I'm ready to go."

After she suffered a major heart attack last Tuesday and only 10% of her heart was functioning, the nurses settled her in for what short time she had left. I told her I loved her as we all did, and that she meant so much to us ... but Joyce was heaven bound, and happy about it. She looked at me and smiled and said, "I'm very tired. I have to go. I'll see you later. Bob is calling me."

I am torn between sadness for our family's great loss and the excitement of her great gain of reaching her final home. She has now left me with only one choice, and that is to "Imagine Heaven" and I have been trying to do that. In between the tears, it is pretty glorious and comforting-heaven.

Describing it best is MercyMe song artist Bart Millard, in his #1 hit song "I Can Only Imagine". Here are some of the lyrics:

"I Can Only Imagine"

I can only imagine

What it will be like

When I walk by Your side

I can only imagine

What my eyes will see

When Your face is before me

I can only imagine

Surrounded by Your glory

What will my heart feel?

Will I dance for you Jesus?

Or in awe of You be still?

Will I stand in Your presence?

Or to my knees will I fall?

Will I sing Hallelujah?

Will I be able to speak at all?

I can only imagine

I can only imagine

When that day comes

And I find myself Standing in the Son

I can only imagine when all I would do

Is forever, forever worship You

I can only imagine (can you imagine?)