A new mother, a bedridden grandmother and a plane ride. The silence of the journey brings thoughts of a world after death.
Scrolling through my phone and looking at the photos I’ve taken from the past few days, I reflect on all the new and exciting experiences I’ve had with my new son the past seven months, and the just-finished visit with my parents and bed-ridden, almost completely non-verbal grandma.
They say becoming a mum makes you appreciate the circle of life more than before, but I’d hasten to add that paralleled with seeing a relative become sadly increasingly dependant as they age only compounds it.
I’m now on my way home on the plane, with the view of clouds beneath me, and my son finally asleep on my chest after an hour of squirming, filled with a seven-month-old’s curiosity, and I feel a bit closer to heaven.
My thoughts are floating. They are present in essence, but only partly formed into words: Full of new mum-ness, ageing relatives and sadly, a general sense of something being “rotten in the state of Denmark”.
But the view out an airplane window has always had a unique way of turning my thoughts heavenward. I don’t know whether it’s the way those people dotted all over the ground disappear in a few minutes as the plane ascends, or whether it’s simply because of the fluffy clouds, physical elevation and change of scenery. Maybe it’s the vastness of the landscape and cities below followed by the view getting small real quick, or the way our mobile phones are forced to be non-functional.
In that brief wedge of time between the land disappearing and the air stewards offering refreshments, there seems to be a moment where the trip invites you to pause and ask yourself, Where are you headed?, Is how you are doing life going to get you there? and Is what you are stressing about worth it?. It puts things into perspective.
I’m also reminded of the Bible verse, “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away’ ” (Revelation 21:1-4).
So I thank God for the glimpses of heaven He has given me on the plane ride. And as I disembark, probably looking a little flustered, juggling baby, bags and coat, I’m full of hope.