Last month I had a conversation over Zoom with Steve Silver of Men’s Golf Fellowship. Steve is a great brother who founded a ministry that uses golf to help men grow in their relationship with Jesus.
Steve’s wife Sandy went to be with Jesus last December, just three months before Nanci died. We can both understand each other’s pain of loss, but also the intense anticipation for and comfort of Heaven now that our wives reside there. Because of the unique way Steve worded some of his questions, they prompted answers I've given to the same questions to come out somewhat differently. He had finished reading the Heaven book, which prompted some of his questions:
Watch our full conversation here:
As I’ve written before, Jesus is Nanci’s best friend and my best friend. She is there with Him, and He is here with me. So Jesus is the bridge that keeps us connected until we live in that new world, with new bodies and minds, that He is preparing for us. The connection I feel to her through Him is profound.
I miss Nanci tremendously, but thinking of her brings me more joy than it does sorrow. I am so genuinely happy for her—so thankful that she finished her life here so well, was so faithful to Jesus, and made such an impact on our family. So as for my grief, there is still missing her, and sometimes heartache and grief, but for the most part, gratitude and an overwhelming sense of God’s grace eclipse regrets and sorrows.
Steve and I talked quite a bit about how our loved ones in Heaven don’t stop caring about their family and friends just because they’re now in the presence of Jesus. Recently there was a special text about one of our grandsons that Nanci would have just been overjoyed to read. She is not here for me to share it with her, but it doesn't mean she's out of the loop. God can do whatever He wants, but in this particular case with her grandson, I strongly suspect that she is aware of it.
We don’t cease to be the people God made us to be when we die. We don’t lose our memories and our love and fondness for our families. And if God lets some people in Heaven know what's going on in some places and times down on Earth, which I believe is clear, shouldn’t we assume He would do that with people related to their beloved children and grandchildren and dear friends? I actually think the burden of proof is on those who do not believe this likely happens, as opposed to those who do believe it.
It is tough to not share the special emotions and conversations we would be having if Nanci were still here. But again, my belief is that she is actually way more “in the loop” of what God is doing in this world than I am. Heaven is not a place of ignorance, but perspective. This earth is where the great unfolding drama of redemption is happening, and I think the attention of Heaven is often upon that drama.For more on the New Earth, see Randy’s book Heaven. You can also browse our resources on Heaven and additional books.