Since my wife died, I’ve thought about her constantly. I can imagine what Susan would do or say in certain situations as if she were present. I catch glimpses of her in our children and grandchildren. But these are my own reflections; I have not encountered Susan as an entity outside myself. I believe she’s alive but I haven’t “seen” her.
It’s one thing to suppose people survive death and quite another to meet them in the here and now. I know friends who have “seen dead people” and I’ve read credible stories of such encounters. *
Should we expect objective brushes with spiritual beings, e.g., departed loved ones, angels, Jesus? By “objective” I mean, “intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings.” Theologians like N. T. Wright would say no when it comes to seeing loved ones who have passed on because they are “asleep.”
We know that we will be with God and with Christ, resting and being refreshed. Paul writes that it will be conscious, but compared with being bodily alive, it will be like being asleep.
… John Polkinghorne, a physicist and a priest, has put it this way: “God will download our software onto his hardware until the time he gives us new hardware to run the software again for ourselves.” That gets to two things nicely: that the period after death is a period when we are in God’s presence but not active in our own bodies, and also that the more important transformation will be when we are again embodied and administering Christ’s kingdom.
What do you think? Are the departed comatose or is contact with them possible?
If you had such a visitation, would you tell anyone about it?
* There is a spate of bestselling books on the subject, including:
Heaven is for Real
Fingerprints of God
90 Minutes in Heaven
In the Arms of Angels