Songbirds and Plastic Chairs

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By Jeff Foerster

Quickened by the rays of the morning sun. Ears dancing to interlacing melodies of songbirds. Belly being filled by breakfast. I sat enjoying the last morning at home in Oregon under ideal conditions, neither too warm, nor too cold. The sunlight upon me, but not shining in my eyes. The air was fresh and any traffic was but a minor lull, like distant breaking waves barely audible.

I had assembled some breakfast and took it to the front deck. The house was nearly empty of belongings and I was the last one to sleep over from the night before. I opened the door to sunlight and a welcomed breeze, slowly moving. The home belonged to my mother, having purchased it some 29 years ago. I had spent some of childhood there and nearly every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other extended weekends, since. Likewise, summer included several trips back home to landscape, mow, trim, etc., and simply to visit and talk about what the Lord was doing, had done, and looking forward to what He has promised.

So here I was, taking in my last morning before the keys would be passed along. Though all was serene around me, something was wrong inside me. I wanted to savor that moment, to etch in a small memory I could later bring out and look at from time to time, like a worn photograph. Something was missing. Something felt hollow. Like the white plastic chair I sat upon, the pleasantness of the moment was but superficial and temporary. She who had made the house the home was not there. Though not 10 miles away at my sister’s house, at the moment my Mother was gone from my presence. This place was made special by her, not by its construction nor any natural accompaniments.

This makes me think of our home in Heaven. It is not a place constructed by human hands. No eye has seen and no mind has conceived of the splendor and greatness of our eternal home (1 Corinthians 2:9). Even so, I venture to say that even a place as perfect as Heaven would be only a place without the One who created it. Without our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, even the majesty of Heaven would disappoint. Yet this is not our destiny; ours is one with fullness of relationship with our Maker, the One who knows us better than we ourselves and loves us with love greater than all.

Heaven is the perfect place. It is the place of perfect relationship, first with our Heavenly Father, then with others who have gone before us. It is a place made special by the One who dwells there in all His glory. And those loved ones await us, in perfect communion with the Father. So will we join them all in fellowship and joy forever!

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