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This morning I wish to share a personal experience with you regarding Revelation 21. I know this chapter by heart but I can’t read it because of my tears. My Dad’s brother had 8 kids, 6 boys and 2 girls, and I was so close to them that I even had my own place at their kitchen table. One of the boys had been killed in Vietnam. The oldest boy J. C. had died from bone cancer and the same terminal bone cancer was taking the life of Harold, the next to youngest boy. Harold was just getting his life in order. He had gone to college late and at age 30 had just graduated with honors and a degree in Accounting and had met Donna, the girl of his dreams, when the cancer struck.

I had been to see Harold many times during his illness but we had never talked about God even though I knew he was a Christian. One night John, the youngest of the 8, showed up at my door and told me Harold was asking for me. John gave me explicit orders that I was not to talk to Harold about dying because they only wanted people to talk about him beating this disease and living. On the way out the door I reached down and picked up my Bible. Harold owned a home out of town but the family had rented an apartment close to my Aunt’s house were Harold stayed because he wanted to die at home but not in the home of any of his family. When we got to the apartment John told me to leave the Bible in the car and only talk to Harold about getting well.

By this time Harold was so weak it was hard for him to speak. He managed to say “Patsy Ray, Heaven” and I asked him if he wanted to hear about what Heaven would be like and he nodded his head yes. I went to the car and got my Bible and I read Revelation 21 to him while John stood there glaring at me. When I finished reading it Harold managed to say, “Yes, yes, again” and the tears were rolling down his face. I read and reread that chapter to him for over an hour until he finally fell asleep. By that that time Johnny was quietly sobbing. He walked me to the door and gave me a big hug. I told John that Christ was letting us know that it was time for us to talk to Harold about really living – living eternally with Christ because Christ was making ready to receive Harold. After that I went every day, sometimes twice a day, and each time I read Revelation 21 to Harold and he would always say “Again” until he drifted off.

Exactly a week later Donna and Becky, the youngest girl, were with Harold and all of the rest of us were gathered around my Aunt’s table eating a sandwich and making out a schedule for when everyone would stay with Harold as two were always with him so he would never left alone. All of a sudden I got an overwhelming urge to get to Harold immediately and got up and walked out of the house. By this time Harold was too weak to speak but he looked up at me and his eyes filled with tears. I bent down and kissed him on the forehead and told him it was okay now to let go because Christ was standing there ready to take his hand. I walked in the kitchen to pray and in less than a minute Becky came in a told me it was over – Harold was gone.

I can no longer read Revelation 21 because I can’t see the words through my tears but I carry Revelation 21 in my heart, and I know when it is time for me to meet Christ that Harold will be there with Christ to welcome me.

God bless!

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