“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” I Corinthians 15:51-52
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.” I Thessalonians 4: 16-18
Five of my years as a nurse were spent working in child and adolescent mental health. It was my calling to work with the emotionally and behaviorally disturbed children. Having been a sad, angry child, I had a special compassion and love for children who struggled with those emotions. One of the therapists once told me the job fit me like a glove.
Bear with me for a moment, as I digress to the verse at the beginning of this essay. I had always thought the word twinkling was a reference to the quickness of a wink of the eye, and that is most likely the case, since the preceding words are: in a flash. I had an experience while working on the Children’s Mental Health Unit that gave this verse another nuance.
One morning after breakfast I was cleaning up in the kitchen. I sensed someone was looking at me and suddenly turned around to face the dining room where my gaze met the face of a sullen, little boy who was staring intently at me, as if he was trying to figure me out. As our eyes locked, I smiled and winked at him. My reward was a spontaneous grin from a boy who was most often downcast or irritable. All day I kept reliving that moment, playing it over and over in my mind, and cherishing it in my heart. On my commute home I continued to ponder the significance of that moment in time that had so warmed my soul. Then I remembered the words from I Corinthians 15: “in the twinkling of an eye.” I wanted to study Jesus, like the boy studied me. I wanted to keep my eyes on Him, like the boy’s eyes were glued to me. I had a beautiful, new picture of how one day my Savior will look at me, wink, and shout for joy to come on home to meet Him in the sky.
Lord Jesus, thank you for loving the sad, mad little girl I was. You rescued me, and I am forever grateful. Sometimes I am still sad and mad, and I keep needing you to rescue me. Give me grace to keep my eyes on You, to keep studying You. I can’t wait for that day when You wink at me and pull me up to Heaven with all the Family of God, where I will always be with You, My One and Only.