Faith: Thought of heaven a little sweeter these days

By Judy Brandon
Religion columnist

A piece of my heart is now in heaven. We lost our only son, John Scott, three weeks ago.

He passed away waiting for a donor heart for a heart transplant.

Dana, Charlie and I were privileged to be at his side when John Scott went to be with the Lord.

We can’t even put into words how heartbroken we are but we still say, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:18)

In spite of our pain and heartbreak, we will yet praise the Lord.

How do we do this? Not in our power but in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ and the comfort and assurance that he has given us.
What is the source of this comfort and assurance?

Maybe a simple illustration will explain.

In this life, there are gates at all airports marked “Departure.” Anyone around the area marked departure can see those saying their goodbyes to loved ones.

The area is usually quiet and somber. I saw a lady once who burst into tears under the sign marked departure. She was saying goodbye to another, maybe her daughter or sister.

Some people hold hands under the departure gate — trying to get one last touch, one last feel, one last hug. The mood is subdued and solemn. One is departing and one is left behind.

At times it is so difficult to watch.

Yet always with the departure gate there is a corridor marked “Arrival.”

The mood is dramatically different at the arrival corridor.

There is laughing and children running and playing, and maybe balloons and welcome signs. Family members run to hug those who they have not seen in a while. Kissing and joyful tears accompany the celebration.

Children run to their parents and cling to them as if to say, “You will never go anywhere again. You are staying with me! Forever!”
An atmosphere of celebration surrounds the arrival corridor.

As we said goodbye to our precious son John Scott, he was at the departure gate of this earthly life. On our side, we are heartbroken. We miss our boy terribly and we don’t understand.

Dana lost the love of her life and her best friend. Ellie lost her Daddy, Gus and Jaden lost their buddy and Annie and Buffy lost their brother.

We all are hurting terribly.

Yet, we look to the eternal arrival corridor, and we know that John Scott is in heaven, in the presence of Jesus Christ.

He is with my mother, Dana’s mother, Lisa, and grandparents who dearly loved him. There is singing, hugging, and a joyful celebration.

How vastly different is the arrival corridor in heaven; so unlike the departure gate in that intensive care hospital room at Medical City in Dallas when John Scott breathed his last breath.

Now for the first time, John Scott is breathing heavenly air.

And he has a new heart and can take deep breaths. And he is well … more whole than ever before.

As Christians, we are promised that there is life beyond the departure gate of this life. When we enter the arrival corridor of heaven, we will have a new body, no tears or sickness, no heartache or separation, and no death.

Are we sad? Do we miss him terribly? Is there a void in our lives? Is there an ache in our hearts so strong that at times it seems unbearable? My answer to all these questions is yes.

But I have the assurance that Martha had. Martha’s brother Lazarus had died and Jesus told her: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” (John 11:25-26)

That is our certain reality. So we know that when it is our time to go through the departure gate of this life, John Scott will be waiting for us at the arrival corridor of heaven, there will be a celebration and rejoicing like no other and we will never be separated again.

The thought of heaven is a little sweeter and the yearning for heaven is a little deeper for me these days.

Judy Brandon writes about faith for the Clovis News Journal. Contact her at: