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I Will Know Him
Photo: Studiomill
After Dad died, my two sisters and I brought out his box of old photo albums and important papers. Our immediate purpose was to gather and verify information for his obituary. Our other great need was to touch the remaining tangibles and review the history of the life that had meant so much to us.

As we looked at photos of him as a child, as a medical school graduate, and as a young father with the first of his growing family, I began wondering: What will he look like in heaven? Will I recognize him there?

Surely he wouldn’t appear as we had last seen him, wincing in pain but incredibly brave. My younger sister had ordered an enlargement of his most recent photo for the church directory taken when he was 83. Mom could no longer advise his choice of fashion. It showed. “When I’m an old man, I’m going to wear plaid,” wrote a poet friend. Dad loved his plaid shirts and the neckties that “highlighted” them. He enjoyed being unconventional in his dress for church. After age 80, he felt, people should be allowed more choices in their appearance. On his 84th birthday he decided never to shave again. The bone cancer and rheumatoid arthritis made it too painful. Would the earthly father who came up from his ashen grave greet us on the heavenward journey with a bushy beard or a more colorful garment of light? Or would I know him first by the sound of his voice or the gentle humor in his eyes?

Find Each Other

And what about me? What face will I wear in heaven? The wiggly towhead of the early family photos; the middle-aged mom; or a white-haired somebody I’ve yet to become? How will we find each other amid the thousands of reunions taking place? How will I know my family? How will I know my friends?

I fell asleep that night thinking about heaven and reunions; about promises of resurrection and life eternal on an earth made new. My questions were not troubling ones, just curious ones. The God who created us would know most assuredly how to re-create us. Drowsy thoughts recalled word snatches from a favorite book, “…As Jesus arose from the dead, so those who sleep in Him are to rise again. We shall know our friends even as the disciples knew Jesus…in their glorified bodies their identity will be perfectly preserved…in the face radiant with the light shining from the face of Jesus, we shall recognize the lineaments of those we love,” (The Desire of Ages p. 804).

Indeed, what a blessed hope, this hope of living again in the visible presence of Jesus and with those we love. It is more than a hope; it is an assurance. I heard that assurance in my father’s last words to us: “I’ll see you in the morning.” We knew even then that he meant Morning—the Resurrection Morning.

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By Lois Pecce. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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