I stopped watching scary movies after college. In high school, I lived for them and always loved going to the movies when the latest installment of the “Scream” series hit the big screen or my absolutely favorite, “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” (and “I STILL know”…eeek!! the best!) It’s kind of like roller coasters, as a child, even through my early twenties, I absolutely loved the thrill. Then when I realized the folks checking the security of my lap bar were born in 1995, I thought better of it. (I will be with Dean over at “It’s a Small World” ride, thank you!) When the plot lines of scary movies seem too probable, I opt out, and tune into the real cinematic genius that is the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies! I much prefer to live in the world of Tori Spelling, Candace Cameron, and Mario Lopez saving the holiday spirit! (I am sure that is REAL healthy for a Christmas crazed bachelorette! Don’t worry, I always have wine and ice cream on hand for viewing.)
But while my interest in the spooky and scary have faded, I have always been intrigued by the connection between this life on Earth and the after life. (Disclaimer: I am about to get all kind of spiritual, Oprah “ah ha moment,” and “let’s go to church” up in this blog.) Stick me with friends. As a follower of Christ, I believe in Heaven after this life on Earth, and I believe our earthly bodies are just a shell for our eternal souls(who we really are.)
When my father was placed on medical leave, Labor Day weekend, the air was still muggy, hot, and humid. A sticky Southern summer. I had an orange maxi dress, a pair of work scrubs, and my preferred uniform: yoga pants. (nope-still not a yogi, but love that child’s pose) I circulated through those items for eighteen days. Two best friends drove me to my home to retrieve appropriate funeral attire. (The up side of always been slightly overweight: my closet is never short on black apparel. Am I right ladies?!) I wanted to wear have a punch of pink as a tribute to my whimsical daddy. He would be wearing his pink bow tie of course, so naturally I needed to coordinate. My friends suggested my pink pashmina—it was chilly. Was it? Indeed, I had not even realized summer had become fall, and the air was getting crisp.
On the day of my father’s passing, I was flooded with your love and prayers. One message I somehow remember reading was from my friend in Dallas. She told me of the prayer walk she was doing on behalf of my family. She wrote, “My sweet Dorothy, I just wanted to talk about the thing our eyes can’t see right now: ‘So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. (1 Cor 15:42-44)’ His earthly body was just an acorn… But now he is an oak.” She later, as she finished her walk, sent a photo of an acorn in her hand. She told me she had prayed during her walk she would come upon one. She captioned the photo, “Just a few steps home and God said YES.” I had a moment of divine comfort via her message, that God was listening to her, but the shock and disbelief of my circumstances were too overwhelming to see it as so much more.
Suddenly the weekend has passed, and I knew I had to return to the office.(my father’s dental practice where I been an employee for seven years.) I walked to my Jeep, that had been idle in my parents’ driveway, wondering how in the world this was actually real life. I took a deep breath. Once in the driver’s seat, I noticed something obstructing my view on the windshield. Right at eye level. Normally, I would start the ignition, flip those wipers on, and hit the road. But I looked a little closer—it was a solo acorn placed perfectly in front of me. Just one. No other leaves, acorns or anything on my windshield. Seriously! I got out and retrieved the gem! ”God said YES.” My dad’s integrity and commitment to his patients filled me. If he could go to work throughout the years of hardships and tough times, I certainly could try. If you did not know my father, let me give you a sneak peak into his work ethic. (just two examples: Once, years ago, he spent the night in the ER passing kidney stones, but showed up for work that following morning. And apparently, although this was way back in the day, he scheduled his vasectomy for after work one afternoon and drove himself home. Yes it is true. Couldn’t miss a day! That little obstruction on my windshield was just the strength I needed get going.
The divine signs do not end there, however. Just last week, I was placing some small pictures that had been hanging in the office in a box to take home. Spending my years in the front office, many of the various prints he had in other parts of the office, I never took note of. Till now. I was in a bit of a huff, angry that I was dismantling his precious office that I all but tossed this little framed print in the trash. It was not going to fit in the box anyway. I was not in the mood for another “happy clappy” cutesy quote with a drawing of happy people. I took a second glance. I had never noticed this small piece before. It was a drawing of a dad holding a small child, and the quote said, "All oaks from little acorns grow." ”God said YES.”
My ‘first best friend’ gave me a necklace with an acorn for my birthday which was just a week after his death. And now, as the fall season has peaked, and endless acorns are scattered all along the ground, I am constantly reminded and remember, “His earthly body was just an acorn… But now he is an oak.”
My cousin just told us of her vivid dream where our deceased grandfather visited her about my dad’s passing. My dear brother shared his amazing dream about our dad in the after life. It’s not spooky or scary, dear friends, I believe it is very real and very cool. It’s like a glimmer, a glimpse, a taste of the hope of what is to come. Let’s open our ears, eyes, and hearts to it. Christ did not die on a cross for this short “light momentary affliction” of an existence. But for the “eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
Oh for that THRILL!!
'God’s thunder sets the oak trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips their branches.We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!” (Psalm 29:9)’
(PHOTO INFO: Top Left-my friend’s photo she sent me of the acorn she found on her prayer walk. Top Right: the acorn on my windshield. Bottom left: the acorn necklace I recieved. Bottom right: the print from his office.)