A few years ago, Elaine and I were at a Christian business conference. Elaine usually does not attend the business stuff just as I do not go to Physical Therapy conferences to learn about new treatment modalities. We often get solo time to do professional conferences separately. But at this particular event, we had a personal relationship with one of the speakers so we went together.
The conference was held during the National Day of Prayer week so the emcee of the event announced the conference was taking over the cocktail lounge at 6:30 A.M. to join with people all over the country to pray. Elaine was seriously jet-lagged from our trip in and slept in, but I, being more used to travel, went to the meeting.
A majority of the conference attendees joined together that morning to pray. We all stood in a circle, joined hands, and raised our voices in unison to the Almighty. While we were praying, a woman sitting across the lounge responded to a divine calling and looked up from the bowed heads and closed eyes. I too felt a “nudge” and raised my head to meet her face.
After the time of prayer, I approached the woman and we began to chat. Turns out, she had experiences very similar to mine. She had visited Heaven and was not allowed to stay.
The next day, leaders of the conference announced that the prayer meeting was so well received that they arranged for the lounge to be open again for anyone wanting to join in prayer. The morning was an instant replay of the previous day, with two exceptions. For one, the lady I had approached the day before sat right next to me in our prayer circle. We clasped hands, and a bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven engulfed us. The second difference was that our group prayed with our eyes open.
When the prayers ended, a gentleman from across the room walked up to both of us and said he could tell there was a kindred spirit between us. He was witnessing the bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven without knowing exactly what it was.
The rest of the conference, for me, was devoted to her. Every time we turned around she appeared. She, Elaine and I invested quality time together, becoming soul mates. She was navigating difficult waters in light of her trip to Heaven. She was left with questions of what now and how do I move forward?
I believe Elaine was at that particular conference just for her. Somehow, Elaine’s presence gave her more freedom to engage at a deeper level than would have been possible if it were just me. After the conference, I sent her my book, Life After Heaven. It took her a month to read it. She read through every chapter, outlining and cross-referencing the text with the word of God. She herself is of an Orthodox background, rooted deeply in scripture and tradition. Incidentally, the idea of my book and story was difficult for her to accept. As she finished my book, she shared that the content was foreign to her, yet somehow also freeing. Welcome to the Kingdom of Heaven!
After a few weeks of further cyber and telephone conversations, Elaine and I threw out the welcome mat; inviting her and her husband to come and invest a long weekend with us to deepen relationships. The next blog in this series will share about the bubbles of the Kingdom of Heaven experienced by Tom and Cheryl.
From a chance meeting in a lounge at a Christian business conference, an eternal relationship formed. The Kingdom of Heaven is closer than we think and everyone can experience it repeatedly. Do you have hosting bubble stories? Send them in. We want to be writing about you as well.
Steve digs deeper into the emotional facet of the Kingdom of Heaven with a young screenwriter who experienced a Bubble of the Kingdom of Heaven for the first time.