There is much more to reality than what we experience with our five senses. The world that we see, touch, smell, hear and taste is merely a shadow of the real world. The unseen realm is what will last forever. The Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians, "While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:18.
In my post dated 4/13/2011, I wrote about the day of the accident that took Duane from us, and how, because I believe that nothing is too difficult for God (and I do mean nothing), I and some dear friends from my church prayed that God would allow him to come back to us. You can go back and read the two posts I wrote that day if you want to understand why I did that. I hope you will.
The last paragraph I wrote in the second post says, "Obviously, our prayers weren't answered the way we wanted them to be, but you will be surprised at what I learned a couple weeks later. Things were happening in the unseen realm, and God gave someone a peek." I really thought I had written what I meant by that at a later date. But I didn't, so now, I think it's time to tell "the rest of the story."
After Duane passed, I gave a little leaflet that my sister helped me create to everyone who had sent a sympathy card, visited, in any way shown love and support to us, and also mailed it to many of Duane's friends. In it, I included some of Duane's drawings and a message that included the request that people share "Duane stories" with me because I wanted to know him the way others knew him. I did receive many great stories from both friends and relatives. Among the responses was this letter from one of my friends who who was part of the group who prayed with me for Duane to be resurrected:
Thank you for sharing a part of your son with me. I put his drawings in a frame; they will always remind me of our Father's love and grace that He pours out on us all.
Donna, I did not have a chance to interact much with Duane when he was with us. The different times I saw him at Acts 1:8 church, things like adventure, creativity, uniqueness would come to mind and the awe and wonder of what he might reveal of our God.
I will admit, I did take a place of caution, but only because in my own life I have learned it is wisdom to advance in caution, receiving that which is good and leaving in God's hands what is bad or unknown.
Duane was a powerful explorer, pushing forward, pushing aside the lies and falsehoods. I always had a sense of respect for what he carried within him, but I also had a sense our Father had a heavy hand on him.
Then the day came when we were informed that he was in an accident. I was in Church. My spirit was so heavy; I wanted to be where he was. I did not know what to do until Faith came over to me and whispered, "I am going to the hospital. Do you want to go?" I looked in my heart, and there was no choice; I knew we were to be there.
When I walked into the room and saw Duane and his family all around him, all I could feel was God's Presence. I never prayed for the dead to be raised, but at this time, it seemed to be the most natural thing to do, like breathing. I did not know what to pray, so I just started to pray in tongues. (Note for readers: This is one way to do what the Bible calls "praying in the Spirit.") Oh, God, the love gripped my heart. I could feel my spirit melt in the fire of the Holy Spirit's presence, and love all around me and inside.
Now, Donna, what I am going to tell you next is my experience with Duane in prayer.
As I prayed, I was in the outer court of the temple. Duane was not sure what was going on, but knew he was the center of attention and did not want to be. He was like in a ball trying to hide. I was in Christ, yet off to one side watching. Duane was crying. I could sense his spirit saying, "What's wrong?" He was afraid. Jesus came closer to him and put His hand on Duane and assured him everything was under control. (Psalm 18:17, He delivered me from my strong enemy, and those who hated me, for they were too strong for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support.) Duane looked, and could see that you, his father, family and friends were in the heart of the Father, and as he looked, I kept hearing Jesus encouraging him to see it all and not to be afraid to see it and receive it all. All was his to share with the Father.
Duane began to raise up. Life became stronger and stronger in him and there came a point when he looked at us praying for him, and when he looked back at Jesus, who with just a look told Duane the choice was his. However, he was assured that his mother and father would be all right. It was safe to stay, that all was truly in God's hands. (Psalm 17:15, As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied in Your likeness.) Duane knew beyond all doubt, Donna, that you and his family and friends would be where he was and all was well in eternity. He was where we all want to be and his death on earth would serve the purpose of the Almighty God in touching many lives.
Duane stood and took Jesus by the hand (at this point, words lack the ability to describe the awesome beauty and power I saw take place, but I will try. Holy Spirit, help me.)
Donna, I saw your son become so, so beautiful, my heart overflows and my eyes tear even now when I think about it. It was like he broke open and a being stepped out that would put the stars to shame on a clear night. The creativity of his presence honored Father God. Jesus was so proud of your son. It tore my heart realizing how much we lost, yet challenged me even more to seek Christ in others with a greater passion.
Jesus took His Bride (the Bible calls true followers of Jesus Christ corporately "The Bride of Christ" ... together, they all make up His Bride) and I know they were going to the Father in a way I could not yet go, but my God, the love and joy I felt in heaven!
After that, I could not pray any more for Duane to rise from the dead, because as far as I was concerned, he had, he is, he now had a greater life than we can imagine. This was all new to me and overwhelming. Pastor Susan asked me to share my prayers with you, for I believe what I experienced was meant to be shared with you, because in a way, it is yours to have and to hold.
(P.S. John 16:7, Nevertheless I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you, but if I depart, I will send Him to you.)
In the Love of Christ Jesus,
(I have not asked permission to share the name here)