A Spot in Heaven

In the wee hours of the morning my ninety-seven year old grandpa took his last breath on earth.  He was ready.  When they found him passed out on his living room floor two weeks ago, it seemed his body was nearing the end and he had given up on living.  His life had been full, and blessed with longevity.  He amazingly lived on his own in the same house he lived in since the 1950s, taking care of himself and his home ever since my grandmother passed away nearly 25 years ago.  Although he was revived that day two weeks ago, his body was shutting down.  It was time to go. 

I reflect on and celebrate my grandpa’s life today.  I never wished I had a different grandfather, even in the hard things – and we did face some hard things.  He was MY grandpa.  The only grandpa I’ve ever known.  I loved him for who he was, and he treated me like I was special and important to him.  

I told my grandfather some time ago, “Grandpa, when I get to heaven I want you to be there too.”  He told me at that time that he had faith and had prayed for forgiveness many years ago.  I put all my hope in the finished work of the cross of Jesus Christ – that I will see my loved ones again who have faith in Him.  That Jesus’ blood grants me access into the presence of a perfect God.  I’m not perfect, and my grandpa wasn’t perfect.  But today, I rejoice that my perfection isn’t required as a ticket to heaven – and neither was it his.  I would fail if that were so.  My ticket to heaven is simple faith in One who bought the ticket for me, through His death and resurrection.  Oh death, where is your sting?…  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).   Victory over death!  Victory is found in Jesus alone.  This is my hope.         

My parents modeled forgiveness to me.  I would not have had a relationship with my grandfather in my growing up years had it not been for their demonstration of love for him through their act of forgiveness.  He mattered.  His eternal soul was far more important than any grievances we may have wanted to hold against him.  I’m thankful for this.  I think he saw the love of Jesus in this and I know it impacted him deeper than anything.  What a privilege that Jesus love was manifested toward him through us in this way.  Those choices we made and still make to forgive and love (although sometimes difficult) have a profound and eternal impact still.    

I kissed him on the head as he laid in his bed yesterday in the hospice room.  He may not have responded when I said, “Hi, Grandpa” for the last time yesterday as I came in… or “Goodbye, Grandpa” for the last time as we went out.   But he knew we loved him and even in his tired, worn down state, I know he heard me.  Hold a spot for me in heaven, Grandpa.  I can’t wait for that day.  








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