Thursday, January 8, 2009

Butterflies and Fishing Poles


I watched a movie last night called "The Ultimate Gift" based on the book by the same name. Have you seen it or read it? I thought it was going to be a love story; it was that and so much more!

The main character, Jason, probably late 20's, is the grandson of a very (VERY) wealthy man (played by James Garner) who dies; Jason never worked a day in his life yet he had everything and then some - a very comfortable trust fund.

In the course of Jason "earning" his inheritance, he meets a little girl, Emily, probably about 6 or 7 years old, who he later finds out has leukemia.

One day, Jason goes to the hospital to visit Emily and she's not in her room. The nurse says "She's with God" in a very matter of fact way. The next scene shows him walking into the chapel at the hospital and he sees her sitting toward the front.

In the front of this chapel there is a statue of Jesus and he has his arms out and open.

He sits down behind her and they begin talking - you know, real talk; how we do when things are serious.

Emily asks Jason "do you think [God] takes advance orders - you know, for my place..."

Jason asks "what do you think heaven looks like?"

Emily says "Butterflies. Lots of butterflies...I think about dying" she says. "Its...unfair even if He had the idea..."

Jason: "I don't know much about God or Jesus, but I promise you that those arms are meant for you."

That scene made me think about heaven a little differently than I had before. I know what the Bible says heaven is going to be like (as if my mind can fathom it) but the idea of butterflies made me think about it with a more child-like approach.

Since heaven is...well, heaven, then doesn't it make sense that God will have waiting for us the things that we love the most?

So, aside from I know from the Bible, I think that heaven is going to have a permanent beautiful sunset; my "place" will be a cute little cabin with lots of shade trees on a lake that has little waves rippling onto the shore. Oh, and of course a really nice beach with "ocean beach" sand and no rocks.

There will be a nice dock going out into the water with some really comfortable "lounging" furniture; maybe even one of those anti-gravity chairs that we have, but softer.

There would always be plenty of sweet raspberry lemonade too.

Oh, and loud music everywhere; including a band for me to finally sing in!

I couldn't get to sleep last night so I spent some time praying for you and Scott and Paul and the rest of the family; then I started wondering what Paul's heaven might be like.

I don't know the man very well, just through you, Scott and Joyce, but I suppose there will probably be a tractor and a field to do some work in.

I wondered too, if there will be a place for Paul to fish. I know your little girls love to fish and I suppose that he'll want to share his fishing spot with them.

I imagine that he'll have a great big lounge chair so that somehow he can hold all his precious grandbabies at one time. The chair will be unique, like no other chair, because each grandchild will feel like they are the only one sitting on "Bop's" lap.

After sleeplessly dreaming about this, I did fall asleep; and when I woke up this morning the song (because you know everything for me comes in the form of a song...) that continued to play in my head was "...all things are possible...all things are possible...all things are possible..."

I know the future for Paul is uncertain right now. In Christ, there are no good-byes.

I love you my precious friend, Janelle

(You can check out Paul's story and my friend Jennifer at

What will heaven look like for you?


  1. This is beautiful, Janelle. You have a lovely way of coming along side and sharing peace. Thank you for letting us in on what God reveals to are such a blessing.

  2. Stop ending your blog with questions...I am trying to get to answering the last one!

    This is a tremendous post, a blessing to all who read though it was addressed to Jennifer. I love the line "I promise you that those arms are for you." I love that picture - with his arms wide open ready to engulf me when my time on this earth is done.

    Grace and peace to you, sister!

  3. Very cool! I love the vision that you portray with your writing -- I can see it! You have a gift! You are an encourager! I thank God for you!

  4. I'm touched beyond what words can express.

    Thank you.

    In my state of emotion, that's all I can muster just now: Thank you.

  5. I love that movie, The Ultimate Gift. I received it as a Christmas gift 2007 and have watched it 5 or 6 times.

    That first Christmas my beautiful DIL & I watched it together & bawled like babies.

    Yea, Jesus' arms are open & waiting for me & you.

    Thanks for visiting my blog.


  6. Can I be in the band too? I do have a spot reserved in the angelic chorus right beside Mom, and I need to be with lots of children, and I will need to be creating something. I wonder if they need any painting done. Thanks for getting my brain churning and turning on the lazy Saturday morning. And, what a beautiful post in honor of your friend and mine. Carol

  7. I hope my heaven will be a tea party with my grandmother and three people I have never met but have heard a ton about-my great grandmother and my 2 aunts. It would also be a place with many acres of woods and land and a nice big pond. And I would have a porch where I could sit in a rocking chair looking at the view soaking in the peacefulness. Most of all, I hope my heaven begins with seeing Jesus and being embraced in his arms-I Could Only Imagine...

  8. I met you once Janelle. I'm a good friend of Patty's. I just dropped by and got to read your letter to Jennifer. It is sooooo lovely. Thanks for sharing it. I wanted to tell you that I have found the book "A Garden at the Edge of Beyond" to be a beautiful gem to read concerning exactly what you've written about. If you ever get a chance to read it you would really enjoy it I think. It's just a tiny little book but it's packed with a lovely notion of our amazing eternity! Thanks for letting me visit. I enjoyed being here.

  9. Thanks, Janelle, for commenting at my blog.

    Where did you get your ring?


  10. I often wonder about heaven, and I agree with you. God will have waiting for us the things we love the most.

    Beautiful, beautiful post.