Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Although I took this particular picture of Sleeping Beauty's castle in the Magic Kingdom a couple years ago, I was standing in that very spot just a few months ago in January when I found myself sobbing.  I was too upset to take pictures that night as the show about wishing and dreaming was going on in the night sky around the castle. 

I was crying because of the news I'd just gotten on my cell phone an hour earlier -- a friend from church had just unexpectedly dropped dead that morning.  Our friend Bazel was chairman of the Deacons and an adult Sunday School teacher.  He had grown up in the church and I'd known him all his life.  His death was a shock as well as a blow.

As the song was playing, "A dream is a wish your heart makes...." I was looking up at a dark sky filled with stars.  I was thinking of Bazel who was now up above those stars living the dream of every Christian -- in the place where he'd given Jesus his heart long ago when he was a child.  When the fireworks started, filling the sky with brilliant color and joyful beauty, I just felt like the angels were rejoicing that one of the Lord's children had come home.  I wept not only with the sorrow of his loss, but also the joy of his homegoing and how happy he must be at that very moment.

That night, even though I was surrounded by mobs of people, as I looked past the beautiful castle, into the heavens, I felt like I was standing alone in the presence of eternity.  My thoughts were upon Jesus Christ and the warm welcome He'd just given to Bazel, and the wonderful reunion that Bazel was even then enjoying with his brother, mother, father, and other relatives and friends that had gone before him.  My tears of sorrow were mixed with tears of wonder and joy at the truth of what was going on at that very moment.  "O, death where is thy sting; grave, where is thy victory?"

Sleeping Beauty's castle could represent falling asleep on this earth and immediately waking up to the beauty and wonder of heaven. Jesus has also promised that He's preparing a mansion, which could be called a castle, for each of His children. So -- in reality, each of us who die in Christ is a sleeping beauty who has a castle in God's kingdom.  "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints."


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