“You don't recognise me do you” ?
“No... you're right … no I don't … who are you ?
“ Well, if I tell you, then I would I have to kill you” the man roared with laughter and then whispered “ but dont worry, dont look so scared. Its impossible for me to kill you, look around … you are already dead”
Jasper looked around himself and noticed something very peculiar. He felt very alive, yet his surroundings were nothing like he had ever seen before. He was basking in some kind of mist. The mist was cloud like with many colours streaming in all directions.
“is this a …"
“ Dream ? ” the man in front interjected reading Jaspers thoughts.
“yeah, a dream. How did you know I was going to say that” ?
“A person in my condition Jasper can do many of wonder …and you will too one day”
“uh” Jasper frowned. “where am I ? This must be a dream, who are you ? where am I for Gods sake ? “
The man again roared with laughter “for Gods sake, I like it, you're a funny man Jasper … you almost answered your own questions there brother”.
Once again Jasper gave an astonished look and all that he could muster in words was another “uh” ?
“ Your in Gods world now Jasper, you said it just then, ‘where am I for Gods sake’ . Except you are here because of your sake, and God just helps you along”.
“Here, here where ?”
“Isn't it obvious by now Jasper” the man chuckled … “a dream like fluffy place with rainbow colours spreading far and wide with a bright light man talking to you … you're in the heavens my friend, Elysium. You died, and now you're in heaven. Pretty cool place eh ?”.
It was true, Jasper saw in front of him a spirit like man. In the sense that the man looked like a human except he was kinda vapour looking, a bit see through, like a ghost you might say... a spirit !
He was a very beautiful man, in fact, that makes him sound superficial, so lets put it another way because his presence was much deeper than that, let's say he was man of beauty. He was quite tall, taller than the average man Jasper had seen on Earth, he was closer to 7ft. He looked around thirty years old, yet he exuded the feeling of a much older man, in his eighties or nineties maybe a hundred even, yet he was not frail. He had a feeling of strength about him, a kind of courage like nothing could shake him. Although Jasper felt this man to be very powerful, he displayed such mannerisms like that of a child, very gentle, very pure.
Jasper swallowed, looked at his hands, rubbed them together and then rubbed his face as if to try and wake himself up from this dream world.
In the most compassionate and empathic voice you could ever imagine the spirit voiced “its no good trying to wake up Jasper, you are already awake, I told you, you are dead, you have passed my brother, you have passed over. The medics tried to save you God bless them, but you were long gone. Heart attack, thats what got you. You were just walking down the street on an ordinary day going to work and bamb ! you hit the ground with a cardiac arrest” The man raised his hand and in a matter of fact voice said “just like that” then clicked his fingers “gone” !
Not wanting it to be true, Jasper got angry and shouted “I don't believe it, its not real, i'm dreaming, this is a dream, its not real, you're not real, and I'm not dead, fuck off”.
With patience the spirit just allowed Jasper to be angry until he exhausted himself. Jasper just sat there now, speechless, shaking,panting out of breath after his ranting. “I can prove it to you if you like” the spirit said.
“please, yes, prove it …”Jasper snapped back “I'd like to see you try”
The spirit didn't hesitate after Jaspers consent, and at once released a pure red colour of mist from his heart. The the colour floated in the air like water in space, and it gravitated towards the heart of Jasper. When the red wave reached Jaspers chest, it kind of melted into him.The melting softened Jaspers chambers, and with this softness the memories of late came flooding back.
With disbelief and confusion, Jasper slowly shook his head from side to side, and then he paused very still, sadness rose in his eyes like a swollen river,eventually the banks broke, and a tear slowly trickled down over the cusp of his cheek as he whispered to himself “I’m in heaven”. He then put his head into the bowl of his hands and wept. He wept, because he now fully understood what this bright loving spirit in front of him was saying... and all of it was true.
“ I was with you all the time” the spirit said. “I knew it was going to happen, and so I desired to come and help you pass over, and I will help you further too, I know its a little confusing when you first get here, it was for me too. And so, I will help you, after all, you helped me beyond belief all those years ago”.
“What, what what what are you talking about I helped you all those years ago ? I don't even know you ?”
“Well sure you do”
“I’m sorry my friend, as crazy and as uncertain as all this is, I know for sure that I do not know you”
“Well, granted, i've changed alot since we last met, but you know me very well”
“you are mistaken, I have no idea who you are”
“I was not always so bright and brilliant as I am now Jasper, and this is why you do not remember me. I promise you with all my heart, you know me, and I know you very well … and indeed you did help me beyond you ever know”
Jasper racked his brains but for the life of him could not remember this astonishing man that stood before him in such splendor.
In a very serious voice, yet in a very gracious way, the spirit man started to cry gently and all sorts of pastel colours exuded from him into the open space, and with a joyous smile he said “its me Jasper... its me … John”
Jasper was stunned, frozen, yet still had no clue who this grateful tender man was in front of him.
“In the past you worked on Ivy Street didn't you Jasper, in an office down there”
“well, well yes I did, yes”
“yes I know, and I lived on Ivy street, and one day you visited me”
“I’m sorry John, I’m really sorry to burst your bubble, but you really have me mistaken for somebody else, I do not know anybody who lived on Ivy Street. Although it was thirty years ago,I can remember it as clear as day, and although I worked on Ivy Street, I never had any friends living down there who I visited. I would remember right, and so I’m sorry you are mistaken”.
“I want to show you something Jasper that will help you believe me, please, don't be alarmed, is that ok with you that I show you ?”
“sure, I mean, yes … sure”
And with that, John closed his eyes and breathed in a deep breath. What Jasper saw next sent shivers down his spine. He saw this bright tall shining man start to change. He started to shrink a little, and his colours lessoned and became dark. The cloths he was wearing started to change from brilliant draping embroidered garments into ragged, ripped and dirty clothes . His hair became long and matted with muck. His youthful pristine skin wilted and became old and wrinkly. Jasper watched in amazement at how this figure in front of him was changing from some God like creature into an old decrepit man. Jasper couldn't believe what he was seeing, but he also couldn't understand how this was going to help him understand who this man John was, because at present he still had no idea.
This man, now looking like sewer rat, turned and looked straight into the eyes of Jasper and held the stare. Jasper looked back and gasped, as the mans face started to morph into the features of someone who he actually started to remember, and his heart began to pound.
This dark shrunken figure then stretched out his crippled shaking hand and smiled with cracked brown teeth “you recognize me now don't you ? its me Jasper … John … remember ? I lived on Ivy Street, I was homeless, and I was a very broken man back then, but you Jasper … you stopped one day and talked to me... you talked to me about the power of prayer and about the power of love … and about how the love of God can transform a man into a God like creature. You were in a rush, I remember, you had an important meeting to go to, but you stopped long enough to explain, and long enough for me to understand, the message was clear; you told me “pray with all the sincere longings of your heart to receive this love of God”. And as quick as that, you were gone ! into the blend of the hundreds of passers by. I never saw you again after that day, on Earth at least, because I died soon after, and I came here, where you are now, and I was met by a bright spirit. I never forgot your words Jasper, they never left me, and I continued to pray and receive God's love until I was able to become the magnificent unrecognisable man you saw before. And so, over the years I would watch you, keep tabs on you, and help you when you prayed. I cannot thank you enough for stopping that day Jasper, you never ever knew how your actions and motives literally changed my life, and I never got to thank you. And so, when I knew it was your time to pass, I wanted to be the first to greet you here, and show you how much gratitude and love I have for you. I am not a broken man anymore Jasper, I am a brilliant man, full of love;
.But I must go now, back to my wife, an important meeting you might say, but I wanted to come and see you, because I know you have been discouraged and disheartened in your life over the years, and I know you yourself over time stopped to pray, and you lost the faith in love and you lost the faith of loves powers and its ability to transform, and this my brother was a part cause of your heart attack. But do not be disheartened Jasper, for I am here now to re inspire you, like you were there for me when I needed inspiration. And I tell you, I tell you the same message you brought to me all those years ago, “you must pray with all the sincere longings of your heart to receive this love of God, and in time, your faith in love will be restored, it will be restored to the point that you will become the greatest version of yourself, the pinnacle of God's creation, and in that, you will share in the joy of this love and its brilliance.
I go now brother, on my way, I just needed enough time for me to explain, and enough time for you to understand. I bid you farewell … with Love dear Jasper”.
With that, John absorbed himself back into his pristine state and his blinding vapour moved off into the mists.
Jasper was left there stunned, and of course he did remember that day back on Ivy Street. He actually remembered it very well. He remembered that he almost very nearly never stopped for the beginning tramp because he was in a rush. But ‘something’ prompted him too. He never thought of that meeting again until just now meeting John again, yet that encounter affected Johns life forever. Never in his wildest dreams did he ever imagine what impact that split decision to extend his love made on another persons life. And like Jasper most of us don't.
So let us prayer and with faith … try not to under estimate little random acts of kindness