Reece Gardner: A story about life and the after-life

Reece Gardner: A story about life and the after-life

Although there are only two candidates on the ballot in the second primary on July 9 for the U.S. Congress, this is a most important election. Vying for the GOP nomination are two truly outstanding candidates — Dr. Joan Perry of Kinston and Dr. Greg Murphy of Greenville.

The winner moves on to the general election on Sept. 10 to face Democrat Allen Thomas, Democrat, who received a touch over 50 percent of the vote in his primary with six candidates on the ballot. Libertarian candidate Tim Harris and Constitutional Party candidate Greg Holt are also on the September ballot.

I will have more to say about this election in coming weeks, but for today I want to revisit a subject I wrote about in a column several years ago. 

It's a story about life and the after-life, and it comes from a man who was very familiar with the family about which he reported. Although many theological arguments are raised about stories such as these, it is comforting to be reminded of our blessed hope in eternity.

Here's the story, entitled "I'm here!"

The Rogers family are devout Christians. The father has a special interest in the spiritual condition of each of his children and often quizzed them about their belief in salvation. 

One day, it was 7-year-old Jimmy's turn to express how he knew he had eternal life. 

He said, "I think it will be something like this in heaven. One day when we all go to heaven, it will be time for the big angel to read from the big book the names of all the people who will be there.  He will come to the Rogers family and say, 'Daddy Rogers?', and Daddy will say, ‘Here!'. Then the big angel will call out, 'Mommy Rogers?' and Mommy will say, 'Here!' 

“Then he will come down to call out Suzie Rogers and Mavis Rogers, and they will both say, 'Here!’”

Jimmy then took a deep breath, and continued, "And finally that big angel will read my name, Jimmy Rogers, and since I'm little and he might not hear me, I'll jump up and shout real loud, 'HERE!’”

Just a few days later, Jimmy was involved in a tragic accident, and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. The little family group gathered around the bed where Jimmy lay, with no movement, no consciousness and no hope for recovery. 

The family prayed and waited. Late in the night, the little boy seemed to be stirring a bit. They all moved closer. 

They saw his lips move — just one word was all he uttered before he passed from this life. But what a word of comfort and hope for a grieving family that he was to leave behind. In the clear voice of a little boy, loud and clear enough so all could hear and understand, little Jimmy Rogers exclaimed, "HERE!" 

And then he was gone to another life beyond this world, where a big angel was calling his name. 

May God bless and comfort all who are suffering today.

Now to close on a humorous note: A guy goes to a girl's house for the first time and she shows him into the living room. She excuses herself to go to the kitchen to get some snacks and drinks. 

As he is standing there alone, he notices a cute little vase on the mantle. He picks it up and as he's looking at it, she walks back in. 

He said, "What's this?" 

She said, "Oh, my father's ashes are in there." 

He turns beet red and goes, "Gee, oh, I..." 

She said, "Yeah.  He's too lazy to go to the kitchen to get an ashtray!"

Have a wondrous day!

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