Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, but… there’s a party going on!

I received a lovely card one day from some friends, and I truly appreciated the card and the handwritten note on it. Printed on the inside front cover was a familiar Bible verse:

“But as it is written (see Is. 64:4), Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”

That’s where the quote ended on the card. But that’s only part of the Apostle Paul’s statement in I Corinthians. Without the “rest of the story,” that part is really misleading.

Paul’s statement continues in verse 10, “But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit…” How neat!

If we pay attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit, we can have a glimpse of the things God has prepared for us who love him, wonderful things. Reunions. Parties. Worship. Assignments. Fellowship. Learning. Sharing. Laughing.

David Marcy, Pastor of Kingstree United Methodist Church, said a comforting benediction at the cemetery after the funeral of my mother-in-law Ora Lee Cox, and he mentioned Ora Lee having peace now.

Instantly the Holy Spirit spoke to me and added – and a PARTY!

I suddenly got a mental image of a wonderful celebration going on in heaven with Ora Lee at the center, a for-real party with Jesus, Holy Spirit, Father God, and all of Ora Lee’s family and friends (especially her son Tim, grandson T.C., husband Theron, and her mom Annie) hugging and laughing and enjoying themselves immensely.

I couldn’t be sad after that moment. I was sorry for us, for all of us who will sorely miss her and T.C. and Tim, but I can’t be sad knowing where she is and what she’s probably doing.

From now on, whenever I see that incomplete fragment of Paul’s comment about heaven, I’m going to think, “PARTY!”


(From the Archives)

That question was asked by wounded students at Virginia Tech. Relatives and friends of dead students. University faculty and staff. Law enforcement officers. Every news person with a microphone and camera is seeking someone on campus to ask how they feel and what they think, but most of all, why. Why did he do it?

Of course, other “why” questions follow that one. Why weren’t people warned sooner, why weren’t classes cancelled, why wasn’t the campus shut down. Why wasn’t the shooter stopped before he killed so many.

Jesus answered this question in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have to the full.” (NIV)

There is a thief, an enemy who hates people. He hates ALL human beings because God made them and loves them. Stealing, killing and destroying is his nature. He’s had lots of practice and he does those things very well.

The main thing he wants to steal is faith. If he can’t steal faith directly he will nullify it by stealing belongings, health, jobs or relationships, introducing fear and doubt into the situation. He will do whatever it takes to prevent faith from working.

If he can, he will kill people, and obviously many times he can. He will do it with sickness, disease, natural disasters or accidents. And he will do it by stirring up anger, jealousy, hatred and murder in the heart of a human being.

If he can’t steal faith or kill people, he’ll destroy anything else he can so they can’t be used to nurture faith or preserve life. He’ll destroy the truth with lies, stir up strife in marriages, families, neighborhoods and nations. He will turn misunderstandings into full-blown wars.

Many people think this enemy is imaginary and that’s the way he likes it. You sure won’t defend against an enemy you don’t think is real. It’s never a mystery to me when I see news stories about murder, not even mass murder. It’s just another day on the job for the enemy of our souls.

“Why?” is the wrong question. What can be done about it, is the right question. Changing people from the inside out is the first step, which is what Jesus came to do. That’s the kind of news I’d like to see more of in the headlines.