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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Recognize Life
By Theresa Kissinger


“Hey Bill, have you met Bob, he’s the one who went to heaven?” Bill reached out his hand to the short, husky, older man in his late sixties.

“Went to heaven?” Bill asked a little skeptical.

“That’s right Bill,” replied Bob leaning over the hood of his work truck with ‘Zoe Electric’ painted on its side.

“Two years ago I had a massive heart attack requiring a quadruple bypass. I remember waking to a heavenly language, very faint at first and then becoming louder and louder.” Bob interrupted himself and looked at Bill, “I’ve never heard anything like that before in my life.”

Bill nodded and Bob continued. “The next thing I knew I was standing in a meadow where the grass was all the same size,” Bob held up his index finger and thumb to accentuate his description. “It was all this high and every blade was even, more perfect than any golf course.”

“Bill,” he persisted, “the trees were symmetrically shaped as though someone had formed them in a mold every one of them identical.

“Suddenly, I was aware of someone standing beside me, and I thought, ‘who is this?’ He turned and looked at me and I never saw his mouth move but he said, ‘my name is Paul,’ neither one of us had spoken out loud.”

“Wow,” marveling, Bill shook his head.

Bob continued his discourse, “Paul was shorter and stockier than I am.” Bob laughed gleefully, and Bill observed the joy Bob displayed in telling his experience. “You know what Paul wanted to know? He wanted to know what everyone was doing with his letters. What could I say?” Bob shrugged, “I told him, ‘not as much we should.’ I didn’t know what else to say.”

“Paul and I walked passed a man sitting on the ground with several children. I wondered what they were doing and Paul ‘told’ me they were the children who had come here before they reached the age of accountability and they were learning about the blood and the name of Jesus. I tried to see the man who was teaching but he turned his face from me.”

“Looking to my left I saw streets that were like glass, I could see my reflection in them. Then I wondered, ‘weren’t the streets supposed to be gold?’ Paul answered my thoughts again, “they are gold, the purest gold. You see Bob, everything here is in its purest state, what you see on earth is only a reproduction.”

“I looked back to the place where the man and the children had been and they were all gone, it was like they disappeared. In their place was a massive carved wood table that had a pedestal base as big as a tree trunk. On the table were cards the size of business card and notes were written on them, only they weren’t paper but they were also pure gold.”

“I asked Paul, ‘what are those?’ He said, ‘they are the prayers of the saints.’ Above the pile of notes was one that just sort of hovered causing me to ask about it. Paul said, ‘that one just came in’ he turned it toward me ‘it is the prayer of your daughter for you.’

Bob choked up then and pulled out his handkerchief to wipe tears from his cheeks. Bill was wiping his eyes too. “Sorry,” was all Bob could say.

After a few moments he continued. “A man walked passed me just then and his head was down, he seemed so familiar and I wanted to see his face so I hurried after him. When I was alongside of him he turned his face away but I knew he was the man who had been with the children.”

I asked him, “Do I know you?” Keeping his head down, he said, “I am Jesus.”

Bill all I could say was, “I didn’t recognize you.” Jesus said, ‘few ever truly recognize me’, and without ever showing me his face, he told me that I must go back.

‘Go back and tell others to look for me.’ Jesus said, ‘Bob, tell them to look for me so that they’ll know me when I come.’

Bob turned away for a moment and blew his nose. “I shouldn’t have survived that heart attack.” Turning to face Bill again, “Doctor’s say I’m lucky to be alive.” Bob laughed, “That was my experience with heaven and I’m telling everyone. “Look for Jesus in this life so you’ll recognize him.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray06/23/06
WOW! What a story! You do give it life by using the conversational style. I can just see the men meeting and sharing this tale. They are wearing working boots and leaning on trucks! It would be an interesting project to extend, and characterise the men involved. Well told.
Sherry Wendling06/23/06
Wonderful story! You moved it right along with the homey dialogue, too.

Watch for dialogue tags ('he said, she said')such as:
“That’s right Bill,” replied Bob leaning over the hood of his work truck with ‘Zoe Electric’ painted on its side." I'd restructure this and a few other places for shorter sentences with no tags. You have the right idea, showing Bob's action.
Perhaps something like: "Bob leaned over the hood of his "Zoe Electric" work truck. "That's right."

I'm curious--Did this heavenly visit actually happened to someone you know? Thanks again for this inspiring entry!