I don't think I quite followed all our preacher was suggesting. It seemed very complicated. Whereas, to me, it's very simple. I've put one of Imi's favourite songs below us here, together with the lyrics she loved (she preferred the Downing Family version, but I couldn't find that online). Glory to God I'll have a new body, changed in the twinkling of an eye, when I wake up to sleep no more.
Walking with Imi, particularly in her last month, was to walk with her as she walked towards Heaven. She was absolutely certain that's where she was going, and I'm equally certain there was a measure of Heaven already present in her room. She slipped between here and there, between here and eternity. The canvas of her earthly tent became a burden to her; we patched it and tended to it, but she was so keen to shed it.
And I am certain that she took her final not-really-a-breath-because-it-was-just-too-shallow once she was already standing on Heaven's shore, shedding this tent as she stepped into eternity. She was not left unclothed, not left suspended, she is not currently somewhere in a state of waiting, but is fully completely and perfectly Imogen, whole and new and forever praising. She is with her sister.
Our God is the Lord of time (Potentate if you will; ineffably sublime. I have hymns in my head tonight). He rules time; He is not bound by it.
Time matters immensely to us. We measure not just the days, but the seconds; I get twitchy when my kitchen clock is two minutes out. It matters to us, because we know these lives are short. Because we know they are finite. But in an infinite eternity, how can time have any relevance at all?
Heaven touches Earth; we all have moments when we know this. Times when the curtain is thin, where we can almost glimpse the angels and archangels and all the company of Heaven. Where echoes of joy ring out across our souls, moments of true deep happiness. It's there in the wonder of an infant's first smile, in a true belly laugh with a trusted friend, in the bliss of a beautifully crafted sentence in a truly lovely book, in the glorious rainbow after the darkest storm, in the galaxies shining on the darkest night.
And it is entirely possibly I totally misunderstood what our preacher was saying. My mind was wandering. But on the offchance that what I heard was what was actually said, I'd like to reject utterly the idea that all our dead are simply waiting, waiting until the gates of Heaven open on that last day. Because there's no way at all Imogen was trudging towards a waiting room; she was running to her King.
What a glad thought some wonderful morning
Just to hear Gabriel's trumpet sound
When I wake up when I wake up
To sleep no more (to sleep no more) Rising to meet our blessed redeemer With a glad shout I'll leave the ground When I wake up (when I wake up) To sleep no more (to sleep no more) When I wake up some glad morning To sleep no more jewels adorning How happy I'll be over in glory On the beautiful shore telling the story With the redeemed of all the ages Praising the one who I adore When I wake up (when I wake up) To sleep no more (to sleep no more) Glory to God I'll have a new body Changed in a twinkling of an eye When I wake up (when I wake up) To sleep no more (to sleep no more) Leaving behind all troubles and trials Bound for the city up on high When I wake up (when I wake up) To sleep no more (to sleep no more)