True to self.  Real with God.

A Real Glimpse of Heaven

During my first heavenly out-of-body experience in 1981, I openly relayed my deepest heart-felt appreciation to God the Father for being back in the homeland with Him. The path set before me in the plush and green hillside led up to the Holy City with a strange familiarity of knowing right where I was yet with an innocent consciousness of a child to experience the wonders of everything anew and so I was in no hurry ... to meet up with Jesus, my first love, who was standing a short distance away. Instead I slowly and purposely walked barefoot in the grass, soaking in the very life that emanated from the pure softness of the blades in between my toes.  “Oh Father,” my heart freely expressed to Him in spirit, “What a joy it is to freely walk barefoot again without having to look out for any annoying stickers, for any broken glass and earthly trash. Everything you make, everything about you, is always so clean and pure.” 

I knelt down beside a bed of the most beautiful flowers imaginable. They looked like both roses and snapdragons put together in the most unique design possible. The very depth and richness of color within their velvety petals made me marvel. As with the blades of grass, the energy flow of life sensed from within the petals transmitted to and through my fingers. I welcomed the scent of their heavenly fragrance to then look down inside the stem at the endless life within. I became absorbed with each and every living cell within, as if to penetrate the essence of my being in oneness with the flower itself. “Oh Father! Everything you create is so truly beautiful! How absolutely fantastic you are! Your light and life is everywhere!”  My spirit was caught up in heavenly wonder as my heart-felt approval of everything around me easily and freely flowed out from within me. In this moment of a shared acceptance and approval with me, God relayed and asked within my spirit, “What do you think you are doing?”  

His question made me stop to consciously and thoughtfully consider it with my mind. Confused at what exactly He was referring to at first, and without any disrespect intended, I in turn answered back with a question in a child like manner, “What do YOU think I’m doing? For you alone know.”

Rather than answer me back directly, He instead brought my own thoughts to mind from when I was at church. At the time certain scriptures from Revelations were brought up for discussion. Though it was kept privately to myself, my first impression at hearing what others thought was meant to how we will spend eternity forever praising God was, “How boring!” The mere idea of spending my forever and ever before the throne of God only to say, Praise the Lord! Glory to God! over and over again in a pre-programmed and conditioned robot mode didn’t exactly excite me as it apparently did the others. I found the cookie cutter mold to who we should be as Christians and how to project ourselves out to others more than just a little stifling. Though it was patiently tolerated for the time being, I couldn’t imagine why God would keep us from the real freedom of enjoying the simple pleasures of life here on earth or in heaven, let alone the liberty of openly expressing ourselves in the very uniqueness God created us to be as individual parts of His wholeness in Love.
The realization in that moment with how truly preposterous it was to limit our praise to and with Him in that way compared to the unlimited expression of my own heart-felt approval that so easily flowed from and through me in spirit to God made me laugh from the bottom of my toes to the top of my head. There simply was no comparing the two. I was totally consumed with joy. Strengthened in spirit and feeling completely free of any religious criticism and judgment that may have hindered my thinking, I was once again at full liberty to openly praise God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost in true form.

A year later I stood out in the desert at the edge of The Canyonlands in Utah and disappointedly thought how barren and ugly it all was. I no more than thought that when God by His Spirit softly interrupted with a slight cough “Uh-hum” and politely said, “Excuse me, but I created this, too.”  My immediate response was to ever so quickly express my deepest heart-felt apology. Oops! As in heaven, He made me stop to consciously and thoughtfully consider it with my mind. How could I possibly, honestly, appreciate a beauty I didn’t see? Looking out over the desert was truly a challenge. There were no familiar signs of life. I realized then that since I was born and raised in Illinois, I was more accustomed to the plush greenery of the Midwest. Though I naturally took to living in the mountains of Colorado later as a teenager and lived in Grand Junction at the moment while also exploring the western slope, I still expected to find the same familiar beauty and touch of God everywhere I went.


My own limited expectations were just as conditional as those that others had placed on praise. Considering how different and unique each part of His creation was designed and meant to be, I thought of the pictures my newlywed husband had taken of desert flowers. He captured their beauty, the essence of life he saw within them, in a way I never noticed before. While we stood together in a desert land, I couldn’t help but think it was still barren and ugly. “Father,” I honestly relayed in spirit, “The desert flowers you created are indeed beautiful. They truly are. And the sunsets, the colors of life displayed within them are always awesome, as are you, but I’ll need some time with your help to work on the rest of it.”

Bobby L. Andrews