As believers, we know death doesn’t have the final victory. And while we have assurance in knowing Jesus conquered the grave, there are still so many questions about what happens to those who go before us. Like, for example, can loved ones look down on me from Heaven? Christian author RJ Thesman tackles this question and shares her thoughts on the subject.
The conductor raised his baton, then nodded toward the orchestra. As the melodies of Bach’s Oratorio filled the cathedral, I waited for our cue. In the soprano section, we stood in matching black concert dresses, voices raised with joy.
As we sang, I thought about my dad. How he would have enjoyed hearing such a beautiful production! One year before, he had stepped into eternity. At 85, he had lived a full life; yet I still missed him and the musical connection we shared.
Then the still small voice whispered, “He’s here, up in the balcony, on the left.”
I could not see him. But as tears filled my eyes and the music swelled to its crescendo, I knew Dad heard me, sitting in that empty chair, balcony left.
Can Our Loved Ones Look Down From Heaven?
Can our loved ones look down on us and occasionally visit? I believe the answer is yes. Not just from my experiences, but also from others who have reported similar incidents. We are told about the thin veil between heaven and earth, and scripture bears witness to the possibility of movement from one to the other.
In the Old Testament, we read the story of King Saul, who asked to speak to the prophet Samuel. Granted, Saul made the connection through the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28), but God allowed that experience. Samuel asked, “Why have you summoned me?” He and Saul discussed the kingdom and Samuel critiqued the embattled king. Saul asked for advice and God allowed it through his deceased servant, Samuel.
We are cautioned in Deuteronomy 18:10 not to seek out sorcerers and witchcraft. But the passage in First Samuel shows it is possible for someone who has passed to revisit earth and even speak to us.
Reverend Stella Ruiz, an ordained minister and bereavement coordinator for Hospice, writes, “I have listened to many family members share how they have experienced the presence of their loved one. After a loved one dies, many family members yearn for just a touch, a scent, a sign, to know their loved one is alright: the soft smell of the loved one’s perfume, physically feeling the loved one’s arms around the family member, or lights turned off without any reason. The experiences are precious and unique, but can also be painful after the special moment has ended.”
Why Would Loved Ones Look Down?
Several years ago, I met a remarkable woman in a nursing home. In her 80s, Cora loved reminiscing about her life during World War II, the Depression, and the rebuilding of the United States.
Cora shared with me that her son, Buddy, loved his dog. They often played in the backyard, cavorting around the perimeter of the yard, jumping over a tree stump, and playing peek-a-boo under the sheets drying on the clothesline.
Cora’s precious Buddy died in the flu epidemic of 1918. She grieved long and hard. Then one day she heard the dog barking. She looked in the backyard and saw something that had not happened since Buddy became ill: The dog cavorted around the perimeter of the yard, jumped over the tree stump, then played peek-a-boo under the sheets drying on the clothesline. Cora knew the dog was playing with her invisible son, and a piece of her fractured heart began to heal.
A common argument asks, “Why would someone in heaven watch what is happening on earth? That would simply make them sad.”
But what if God protects the deceased from the sadness and allows only what brings them, as well as us, joy?
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