“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2, NKJV).
Bill Johnson was a great follower of Christ whose funeral I recently attended.
His entire life as a surgeon was spent following Christ to mission after mission, using his skills as Jesus called. Perhaps because of his mission-centered life, Bill possessed a keen understanding of life and death, this demonstrated by a man who spoke to me at the funeral reception.
“I was visiting Bill two weeks before he died. He was suffering and was extremely weak; but, as he so often did during his last days, Bill turned the conversation toward comforting his visitor---me. He knew that my daughter had recurrent cancer and asked about her illness. Bill was very honest when I asked what he thought of my daughter’s prognosis.
‘I can’t give you much hope, Justin. She will not be cured, short of a miracle of God.’
Then Bill added, ‘But I’ll get to heaven before her. And, whatever can be accomplished by prayers from heaven, I’ll be praying for that miracle. And, if need be, I’ll be there to meet her.’”
I cannot tell you how profoundly this story affected me. It was as if someone had torn away an impenetrable veil that separates us from life on the other side and let me see a path that leads us not into darkness but, instead, points the way home.
Please let me live with the assurance that I, and those I love, will someday be coming home.