Will You Sign My Toga?
I feel like I’m surrounded by Bible characters. Living breathing people whose stories of redemption and grace amaze me like the stories of old do.
I have some friends who just had a baby boy a few days ago. And that might sound routine and quite common if it weren’t for the backdrop of their incredible story of beauty from ashes. The story is theirs to tell, but suffice it to say that this was not how conventional wisdom would have wagered it would end.
This marvelous event has me thinking about the characters of old. And I wonder if they are watching from heaven. Here we are inspired by what God did in their lives, and there they are inspired by watching what God is doing in ours.
I used to think we’d get to heaven and find the “giants” of the faith sitting behind product tables like celebrities do at the mall’s media store, signing portraits of their Biblical feats for those who were new to the block.
But now I wonder if it will be more like a greeting of mutual delight, like a tweet-up where twitter friends get together for the first time. A reunion of friends who feel connected even though they’ve never met in person.
I wonder if they watch our lives like we watch suspense. Generous portions of butter popcorn in hand, watching attentively as you go through that low point in life, that disillusionment, that tragedy that kicked your teeth out.
Urging us in soft whispers, “Hang in their buddy.” …”Don’t let go.”… “Just look up, He is right there.”
I wonder if they, too, throw their hands up in their air and cheer loudly when the night turns into dawn and they see the Liberator, the Savior, our Hero, Jesus revealed yet again, and his grace having been manifest as sufficient, his love being declared unending. I wonder if the most macho among them tries to hide the tears when a tough story ends in the arms of Life.
Perhaps they have better things to do, but then again we might say the same thing about us. But an inspiring story is a sticky thing and always hard to look away from.
And like I said, I feel like I’m surrounded by inspiring stories.
When my friends Mitch and Annie arrive in heaven, I wonder if they’ll be shocked. I wonder if they’ll get asked, “Will you sign my toga?” by some of the greats of old.
“I was rooting for Jesus as I was cheering you on!”
“I caught a glimpse when no one on earth could see you – when you were tired, burnt-out, alone, and afraid. I saw when you found the strength to give up and allow him to become your champion, when you opened your heart up to Grace and began to believe in his love.”
And I wonder if, as my friends say, “I’ve been longing to meet you, Apostle Paul,” that they’ll be surprised when he says back, “The feeling is quite mutual.”