Final Letter to my Grandpa

Dear Grandpa,

I hope this letter finds you well.  Grandma and I have been emailing back and forth over the last few months and she has been recounting your condition to me on a regular basis.  She cares very much for you.

I remember you well.  As I grew up in another part of the country from you I did not see you often, but I do remember the times I did.  My memories always involve you making jokes, laughing, giving us attention and telling us stories.  You seemed to be a man who enjoyed people in general and your wife, grandma, in particular.  I remember, as I got older, having more grown-up discussions with you.  During one of those talks, we discussed creative writing.  At the time, I was 17 years old and had gotten a small piece published in a school publication.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that writing short stories was a hobby of yours and, if my memory serves me correctly, you showed me one of your stories which had been published in a journal.

I have heard from my mother that your health has gotten worse over the last few days and that you may not have much longer in this world. That thought brings both sobriety and sorrow to me. Death is the way of all who walk the earth and yet, contrary to those who claim it is “merely a natural phenomenon”, our hearts mourn death as being unspeakably tragic.

Fortunately, there is good news. I write to you as a fellow creative to remind you of the ancient wisdom of the fairy tales which you know so well.  Do you remember the tale of the princess who broke the rule and feel into a deep sleep?   She was lost to all until a kiss from the right prince awoke her to new life. The good news is that this story is more than just humanity’s dreaming. Though the rule has been broken and therefore death comes to us all, there is such a prince who can awaken us. 

Do you remember the tale of Jack the Giant Killer?  The giant was evil in character and terrifying in size and yet poor little Jack defeated him at the beanstalk. The good news is that in real human history one greater than Jack has defeated our most terrifying of giants.  You remember the tale of Cinderella?  The good news is that the humble really will be exalted.  You remember the tale of Belle and the Beast? The good news is that there really exists such a love which, if we find, will break the evil enchantment of sin, transform our inner monster and raise us up to be something eternally lovely. 

The abyss of the tragedy of death has been swallowed up by the abyss of hope and mercy found in Jesus.  He has paid for our sin and has been raised from the dead to give life to all who come to him.

What does this mean for you? It means that in trusting him you are about to begin the greatest story ever written. Your whole life until now has been but the introduction and you are now about to begin chapter one. Unlike your short stories, this will be the story which never ends and which will only get better as you go ever upward and onward into it. 

Your dreaming is almost over; you are about to awaken to a more wonderful reality than you ever thought possible. It is Friday afternoon and the long work week is almost done. The weekend which never ends is about to begin for you. You are finished listening to children bang together pots and pans; you are about to enter the royal symphony. You will be coming to the land where it is always Christmas but never winter and where each present you open will be better than the one before. In this city, you will bathe yourself in laughter and you will breathe the air of youthful strength. The true world, the world which was always meant to satisfy your inner dreams and longings will be released on you with unspeakable colour. When this happens you will know that all of your imaginings and fantasy here in this world were only ever too modest, not too wild. 

As you arrive at the very centre of all of this you will meet the One who created you and who died so that you could enter into his life. You will see his face... and that will be enough. The depths of your heart will be revealed. The arrogance and pride, which ruined so much of life and relationship here on earth, will be slain by the blade of his gaze. There will be no fear for all is forgiven. Shame will forever be broken and you will finally be free to be the man you were created to be. Every question you ever had will be answered and the power of that moment will have a retroactive effect so that every bit of pain and agony which you experienced on earth will itself be filled with glory.

Time will mean nothing in that place and I will meet you there. We will exchange poems and short stories.  I look forward to it. So please, leave a light on.

Until then I am your grandson,
Joshua
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