Small-town Coldwater Michigan has been hit with an unthinkable phenomenon. People are reporting that they are getting phone calls from dear, departed ones; that they are getting insights into Heaven.
A real estate agent, a building contactor, a police chief, a day-care director, a dentist. All of them thrilled by repeated Friday phone calls expressing that Heaven is wonderful…no need to fear. Love is the grand pre-occupation.
Imagine what happens when the media gets hold of this and the internet. Churches, politicians and businessmen prepare for the onslaught. There is also a single Father grieving over the death of his wife while he was in prison. He can hardly tolerate these reports. Oh how he would thrill to hear her voice again. And so would his young boy Jules. But enough of that; just harmful sensationalism. “Sully” launches a mission to disprove the whole phenomenon. Some prankster with a strangely cruel streak.
I am only part way through the book “The First Phone Call From Heaven” by best-selling author Mitch Albom. In my estimation he scores another Grand Slam in inspirational writing.
I was sitting reading this very early at a McDonald’s. A well-dressed Englishman sat down beside me and flipped open his morning newspaper. Very business-like. Articles full of a recent provincial election.
I attempted to engage with him about this fascinating book before me. His demeanour indicated that he did not desire conversation, and particularly about some silly fable. After two attempts, I wished him good day. Pity. There was more of redeeming value in my read than in all of that rag of half-truths and advertising that had him so mesmerized.
Ears to hear, my Lord. Ears to Hear.
Next over to Walmart for some breakfast items. I mentioned the book again to the woman at the cash register. She listened through a good synopsis. No people in line behind. And then her response:
“Sir, I was in a coma after a car accident. Vehicle totally flipped over. Should have died. While unconscious I distinctly heard my dead Mother’s voice saying it is not your time Sweetheart. You will return.”
Her face indicated that she was somewhat stunned at having shared the treasured experience with a total stranger. But it felt good.
We thanked one another for the shared thoughts, and went about our business.
…how much Coldwater had changed since the miracles. There were complants, head shakes, more complaints.
But there was also talk about heaven. And faith. And God. There were more prayers said than in years past. More requests for forgiveness. The volunteers for soup kitchens far exceeded the need. The mattresses at churches far outnumbered the weary. (at page 178)
(* first words by telephone from Alexander Graham Bell)