I'm sharing this article because I've always wondered. Always had this question. Because people around me are facing loss and I want to be of sure and sound heart when I open my mouth to comfort them.. When my Nana passed, my great grandmother, and even one of my schoolmates at age 9... I needed to know... Do we really get to see them again? Will we even recognize them? How would I cope with the devastation of even thinking that the last time I saw this person was indeed, the LAST time? ... I loved them too much. That would hurt most. For years I have known that to be absent from the body was to be present with the Lord. But for years I've heard friends mention their relatives were watching from above. And I knew what they sensed - because I have, too. That loved one's pleasure when goals were achieved. That acute, warm recollection of what he, or she would say in "a situation like this." That loved one in a dream - giving the big hug that you or I needed. Their nearness. Their talk time... Yes, they are our angels. They'll remain in our hearts..
But I wanted to know my loved ones would be more than a memory. What I did know was that as believers, in death, there is no sting. We meet life as we've never known it. We have heaven. Perfect peace. His Perfect Presence. Nothing missing. No longing. No sorrow. No heartbreak. No desire greater than the will to celebrate and feast away. Just Joy. Just Fulfillment. Why would our loved ones be paying attention to us? Would what they see at times hurt or disappoint them because we are often hurt or disappointed on earth? Wasn't there to be no hurt or disappointment in heaven? Questions. I have at times just settled for not knowing if I'd recognize or see lost loved ones again. I've even been told 'We're all going to be too busy rejoicing to care who's with us.' I didn't like that.. I knew God created family, and fellowship, love and joy and that all of these should be shared with others. I knew that God was love, and love was eternal. That love lasted, it lingered, and that rather than slipping through the cracks of what we know to be loss, it would trickle into eternity. I knew we were made for reunions. I felt like we were made for more. I learned a bit when I read this article. And if nothing more it was food for thought. We don't know all but cheers to what God reveals in His word. I think you will enjoy the read, too. Thanks, Dr. Pritchard. "Some time back I was asked some very personal questions about heaven. A young boy asked about a schoolmate who died. What if he lived a long time and then died. How would he recognize his friend when he got to heaven? The very next day the question was put the other way. A mother, now advanced in years, talked about the child she lost in infancy many years ago. How would she recognize her daughter in heaven? The Bible does not tell us everything we would like to know about life after death. That lack of information does not lie in any reticence on God's part, but rather with our own inability to understand the answer. Heaven by definition is a realm unlike the world in which we live. God could tell us everything we wanted to know but the answers wouldn't make sense to us. It's like trying to explain the color green to a blind man. Heaven will make perfect sense to us once we get there. So the Bible doesn't directly tell us how we will recognize each other in heaven. But I think there are hints that tell us that we will indeed know each other (and all the redeemed) for that matter. I Corinthians 13:12 says that "now we see but a poor reflection; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." Today we see each other dimly. Our vision is blocked by our human limitations. In heaven, the imperfections of age, sickness, weakness, disease and disaster will all be removed. So will the taint and mark of sin. The result will be that those in heaven, while retaining the essential core of their personality, will shed all marks of human weakness. Will we know each other in heaven? Yes, of course. How else could it be heaven if we wandered throughout eternity not recognizing those we have loved in this life? We will be the same, yet strangely and wonderfully different, transformed by the grace of God. One other small hint helps us. When Jesus was transfigured, Moses and Elijah appeared with him on the mountain. That's amazing, considering Moses died and Elijah was taken directly to heaven hundreds of years earlier. But James, Peter and John immediately recognized them. That brings me to the answer. Heaven does not abolish human personality; it perfects it in ways that we can hardly imagine. In that day we will know each other completely, far beyond our limited knowing in this life. In the same way that a mother recognizes her daughter's cry in a crowded room, even so we will recognize our loved ones although we have been separated for dozens of years. Age will not matter. The passage of time will not matter. The young boy will recognize his schoolmate and it will be as if he last saw her yesterday. The mother will know her daughter and the daughter will know her mother. How that could be is a mystery to me. I would not understand the answer if the Lord himself explained it to me. But I believe with all my heart that it is true. For the children of God, heaven will be the ultimate family reunion, a place where we will have no difficulty recognizing our loved ones who have gone on before us. "
It was just 2 weeks ago when our church and first family experienced this huge blow to our hearts. We lost one of the most passionate, quick witted, fast-talking, hilarious, resourceful, wise, inspiring, hardworking, genuine, down to earth, LOVING, inclusive, unselfish persons that you'd ever want to meet. He was life, charisma, laughter and joy all packed into one man. I can assure you that wherever he was, there were smiles... often, a result of his antics or - encouraging words.
I called him Uncle Swann Swann... We weren't related.