Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Postcards (08/29/05)
TITLE: An Unbelievable Postcard From Heaven
By Ryan Barnhart
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In the parable of the rich man and Lazarus Jesus painted a horrific, but beautiful picture of someone dying and then desiring to cross the thresholds of hell to inform their loved ones about their regret in not choosing to follow God. I don’t want my worst enemies, let alone my brothers and parents eventually asking to be cooled off from an eternal heat in hell by someone touching their tongue with a wet finger. I think that would be horrible, but even after reading that for the tenth or eleventh time I still haven’t acted.
My grandfather was a great God-fearing man and I truly believe he is in heaven praising God with the angels, or doing whatever else people envision heaven as. I do know that after he died over a year ago I missed him because he was probably my favorite person in the world and I began communicating with him as if he was right next to me, or as if he was an imaginary friend only I could see. I’m glad my grandfather doesn’t respond and talk back from heaven though because if he did people would think I was crazy and put me in an institution.
After my grandfather passed away my family was kind of like America after 9/11; we all temporarily changed and began seeking for more meaning to life and someone who could save the day. That eventually wore off and now my family could use another reawakening. I often wish my grandfather could send me a postcard or something tangible that could be viewed by others and serve as proof to the existence of heaven.
I dream of one day opening my mailbox and discovering a postcard that would say, “Dear Ryan. I’m having a wonderful time. You cannot imagine how rewarding your faithfulness and diligence is going to be once you finally get here. God’s presence is much more beautiful than I ever imagined and Jesus is a riot. We play cards twice a week and you wouldn’t believe how patient and loving He really is. I gotta go but make sure you tell others about this place so that they can join us. See you soon. Love Grandpa.”
I can imagine my reaction. I would probably sit on the front lawn by the mail box for hours just smiling, crying and praying about what he wrote. I would think about sharing the story with others, but I probably wouldn’t though. I would be scared of what people might think. I would be afraid they might laugh at me if I told them I truly believed the postcard came from heaven and was not a practical joke created by some stranger to fool me. Even though I don’t want anyone to go to hell, I’m not sure if even a postcard from heaven would get me to share the good news more efficiently with those who appear to be going south. I’m actually not sure what it would take to make that happen. Whether it shows up in my mailbox or if it is just a simple change in my heart, I don’t care; I just hope it happens soon. The postcard from heaven would be pretty cool though.
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