I have pictures of family up all over my house; little collages of familiar faces in almost every room.
If not a collage, a large predominate picture; I even have a picture frame that shows a slide show of those faces.
People I have known all my life, or have known me all of theirs.
Many or most of the pictures evoke memories of favorite times together; others are faces that we love to see on a regular basis, so there they are.
I love my family. I realized yesterday, filling out a survey, that yes, my life does and has revolved around my family for most of my life. These people are important to me. Some might say too important. That I haven’t lived the life I could or might have if I hadn’t been so involved and wrapped up in my family.
But looking at it from the perspective that I look at most things—an eternal one—they are the only thing from this world that I get to take with me to the next one.
I won’t take what is in my bank account, my house, or what is in it, my car or my clothes, shoot, I’m hoping for a new body that cooperates and works a little better than the one I have here.
That is why it is important to me that my family—yes all of them—know what the next step is in this life we live. It doesn’t end here…..it goes on, like stepping from one room to another.
I know the "here" is important, the laughter, the trips, the “family bonding”, as my kids love to call it, but I also know that this is all just a prelude to the actual living that we will all be doing together when we get to heaven. We have had some family moments that have been so wonderful, that right in the midst of them, I have known without a shadow of a doubt that I am getting a glimpse of heaven.
With the holidays approaching, where we are going to be spending time with our families, and we capture faces for the galleries on our walls, take a minute to stop and breathe it in. Freeze frame it in your mind and give thanks to God for those glimpses into paradise. And remember that the most important family member, Jesus Christ, must be featured prominently in each and every picture, for he will be there in the final portrait.