Tomorrow is the five-year anniversary of the day that Jordan left us to find his way to Heaven. True, the sadness that slammed into us on the morning of Jordan's death was unbelievable, but over time there is no doubt that God's comforting mercies have been even more abundant.
One moment he was there, and later he was not. I had checked on him at three-thirty in the morning as he cried briefly. I asked him, "Are you okay, buddy?" To which he babbled, "Uh-huh!" And I responded, "I love you, Jordan." And again his response, the only one his voice was capable of giving: "Uh-huh!"
Such a cutie. He rolled back over to go to sleep. When he awoke, it was in eternal life.
The poem that follows is the longest one I have ever written, by a landslide. Twenty-two stanzas of iambic pentameter that traces Jordan's entry into the arms of his Lord and Savior.
I'm not saying tears are automatic, but you may want to have some Klennex nearby.
I have no confirmation that Jordan dreamed his way into heaven, but I'd like to think that when he passed from our hands into those of Christ, it happened--crawling, running, leaping, then resting-- like this.
Jesus (The Final Epic)
On mattress all familiar now I lie.
The beam so soft from outside comes within
And pierces darkness deep. A shaft of light
Now beckons to recall that in the midst
Of life, there is a certain hope for me.
Wherefore this beauteous sight I cannot tell.
It seems to mingle with a call divine.
Is darkness coming and, if so, will I
Be sure that thus beyond the shadow's gloom
I surely find delight that God is there?
So sleep a little bit, I tell myself,
And wake again when light invades the room.
The heaviness upon my eyelids pressed
Will gently wrestle me to slumber's bay
And once again I'll wake to morning bliss.
The dream begins, and there I find myself
Crawling through meadow warm and floral spray,
And through the loamy soil I come upon
A flowing river lapping o'er its shore
Upon which sturdy boat I spy alone.
And then this wildest epic takes new form:
I clamber toward the small conveyance here
And, scrambling over side onto its deck,
Discover strength not previous' known before
As this adventure takes a strange new turn.
At first a whisper soft speaks o'er the waves
Before the boat dislodges from its roots.
No oars are needed to glide swiftly on,
For far away the drawing point reveals
Itself--a voice that's calling out my name.
Onward the river moves in powered calm.
The peaceful torrent flows within my dream;
Upward it climbs to raging waterfall
That flows reversedly to higher ground
Of forests verdant green on mountainside.
With instinct charged I bolt from here in haste.
Renewed in spirit now I sprint headlong
And, clutching in my hand both spear and sword,
Toward higher elevation I plunge on
To seek who far off grandly calls my name.
I seek a bold adventure, lordly gain,
I sense a battle for my body's health.
With courage I, prepared for struggle great,
Fly over fertile ground with swiftest feet,
Yet knowing not if this be heaven or earth.
And then from forest thick my little form
Tumbles into a clearing bathed with light,
Where stunned (my eyes can scarcely take it in),
I see the genesis of sacred voice
That draws me, sweetly calling forth my name.
Lion of Judah, Citadel of Grace,
He speaks my name, not his, but his I know:
The King of Kings, Messiah, Lamb of God,
Redeemer, Son of David, Prince of Peace,
And 'round him there a crystal fountain flows.
With quizz'cal look I glance upon his brow
And gaze upon that skin once torn by thorns
Before I lock my eyes upon his wrists
And side where holy gashes bore so long
Ago the sin he washed away from me.
With trembling voice I ask him, "Where am I?"
And broad the smile expands upon his face
As Jesus says, "My son, throw down your spear
And sword--They're needed not within your home."
To which I make reply, "What is this place?"
In thund'rous laughter loud Jesus calls out
The truth: "Why, little Jordan Christopher,
You've reached my Sacred Mountain's summit high
And in my Holy City evermore
You'll live--For I've made you completely new."
So with one final earthly heartbeat more,
I throw aside forever spear and sword.
And to my family on earth I give
One final whispered gracious soft farewell,
And pounce to take a leap for which I've longed.
The power surges deep within my veins
And all my muscles move with apexed might
To bound thro' heav'n's sweet air, and tackling thus
My dear Good Shepherd, sending with a laugh
Us both into the Fountain's roaring foam!
With holy scream I throw my head far back,
And smiling ever widely I shout out:
"This, my eternal home! This is the place
For which I've longed and sought forevermore,
Although I knew it not for all my life!"
My Savior's nail-scarred hands encircle me
And lift me out from there with splashes fresh.
He looks within me deep, a blessing great,
Before he wraps me in his arms so tight
And turns into the City's entry path.
Around us there explodes a tumult great
Of angels, saints, and martyrs bringing me
Into the city with triumphant song,
And there forevermore my home shall be,
And where one day, I'll join my family.
Yet deep in Heaven's din I clear perceive
My great Redeemer's voice within my ear.
The saintly roars all strangely fade away
And unmistakably his whispers dear
Bless my initial entry to my home.
"My little Jordan Christopher," he says,
"How long I've waited for this special day,
For you to enter your inheritance
And all encumbrances be thrown away,
So everlasting joys will now be yours."
"You are my little soldier, my brave soul,
And I am your Commander holding fast
To bear you to my Father's throne where you
Will have eternal joy and peace at last.
You'll have eternal joy and peace at last."