Easter is a really important holiday. I’m a Christian, but if I didn’t believe in Easter, I wouldn’t believe in Christ or the Bible or churches. The whole point of Christianity is that death has been defeated, we will never cease to be alive, to belong, to be loved.
Of course, facing a death sentence, you delve into your spirituality. I’d always thought of myself as Christian, but I had to delve deeper into it. Think harder about it, KNOW what I believed. A friend bought me a book, the Healing Power of the Christian Mind. I don’t believe that you can cause or cure you cancer with your mind, and I don’t believe God heals everyone. I’ve known many devout Christians who have died of cancer, who believed God would heal them, but weren’t healed. But for some reason that book brought me peace, I read it more than once. I don’t have a clue why, but I own two copies! Now I can’t remember what it was about or why it helped me, but it did.
I also developed an obsession with reading books about near death experiences, my mother told me she’d had one while in her 20s when she was near death and after that was not afraid to die. One of my favorite books about NDEs was a book by Randy Alcorn, In Light of Eternity.
When Christ was resurrected, he had a physical body that someone could touch, could hug. He still ate food. When I die, I will get a new PHYSICAL body, that will never get sick or have cancer. I will never struggle with my weight, my sense of smell, which I lost maybe via chemo, it will be perfect. I’ll smell flowers again. The bunion on my foot will be gone. I’ll be reunited with those I’ve missed, I’ll be able to give them hugs. Heaven will I believe be earth as it was in the beginning, perfect. Christ in his new body was able to to instantly be in another place with no form of travel. Will we be able to do that too? That would mean no beauty disrupted by highways and cars and pollution. When you read of near death experiences, many say the colors and the sense of love and the beauty they experienced couldn’t be described in any words they knew. That there were more and better colors. If you get a chance, read some of these books, they will give you a sense of what to hope for. And I believe the descriptions. I don’t believe I will be on a cloud playing a harp or be in an eternal church service when I die….I believe we will do things we love doing.
Easter means all of this to me. It’s a gift we can choose to receive. I am not afraid of being dead now, as much as I am afraid of dying, of maybe the pain or discomfort involved, of saying goodbye to those I love, of causing them pain. But in a recent sermon I heard about eternity (I listened to it online :-), the minister used a garden hose long enough to stretch around the world several times, to reach to stars that were light years away as an example of eternity. But there was a 2 foot long section of the hose that was a different color. That section, he said, was how long our life is, just a tiny piece of the eternity of time. Those we leave won’t miss us for long, but will be with us for eternity.