As I am beginning to process our trip to Hawaii, I am more and more in awe of God. He never felt so near as on the island of Maui. Everywhere I looked seemed to point me to Him and to spending eternity with Him.
One of the reasons Maui made me think of heaven as much as it did is that mere days before we went there, a friend who we had been praying for healing for two years passed away. She was not even 40 years old and had inspired thousands with her courage and love despite fighting for her life. Even though Nadine surpassed the 3-4 month time she had been given, I still felt shocked when she left this earth. So I went on our trip with a heavy heart.
Well, our first day in Maui happened to be the same day as the memorial for Nadine. It started off early and brilliantly. We had heard that the sunrise from the top of a volcano called Mount Haleakala is breathtaking because you are at 10,000 feet and you see the clouds below you. Witnessing this meant leaving our hotel at 3:20 am but it was beyond worth it. Getting all bundled up for the 42 degree weather (and still freezing) added to the atmosphere of wonder. We were so excited to see God’s daily creation in a whole new way!
When you go to the top of Haleakala, you find a spot to stand and wait in the dark. You watch as the sun paints the sky and clouds different colors. Nadine loved unicorns and at one point, I swear one of the clouds was shaped like one. I tried to take a picture before it changed shape. She was there watching too.
The clouds kept changing and glowing different colors, as if in anticipation of what was about to happen. They seemed to know the glory they got to be a part of. The glory I got to witness.
After the sun rose and the people in front of us thinned out, we made our way to the railing. Looking down into the valley was equally incredible. Seeing the start of a new day from this vantage point made me appreciate all the more how creative God is.
Six days later, as we turned our rental car in and were about to board a plane to head back home, my girls saw a rainbow in the sky. Nadine had told her family in a letter, “I’m catching your every tear and I’m making rainbows with every one.” Since the day she went to heaven, people who knew her have been seeing them everywhere. I wasn’t a close friend of hers but you didn’t have to be close to know how special this woman was. She is missed here but is partying in heaven, of that we know.
Seeing an island that is mostly unspoiled and is the way God intended the earth to be felt like magic. Knowing we were still on earth seemed impossible. I think Maui changed my view of life because it changed my view of heaven. I got a glimpse of what is to come after this life. One day every tear will be wiped away and who knows? Maybe they will be turned into rainbows in heaven!
Linking with Holley Gerth