The Gate to the Garden

Recalling my childhood days of going to church with my family, I heard people talk about a special garden and how beautiful it will be. What a great reunion itís going to be with our families, again. That was many years ago.

Today, I still hear people talking about that special garden. When the day comes for me to go to that special garden, with all itís beauty and all the excitement going on, I donít want to be alone. I want someone to walk inside with me, that we might share the joy and excitement together ... and thatís why I say:

Won't you wait for me at the gate to the garden. Then, we will walk, together, inside. There, we will see our friends and our loved ones, again. What a gathering it will be in the end. I was sitting on a bench, by a store, next to a busy road in town and was talking to several men sitting beside me when I noticed three people, walking toward us, engaged in a heavy conversation.

As they approached, I heard one saying that they could not wait to see that special garden. Another one said they were told that the garden was going to be a breath taking site to see.

The other one said, "Yep. It's going to be a grand reunion to see my folks, again."

I stood up and said, "I'm sorry for listening to your conversation. But, where is this special garden you all are talking about?" Is it for members only, or is the public invited? Do I have to make reservations?

They looked at me with a blank stare. I did no know if they thought I was stupid, or if they just did not know how to answer me.

One Sunday morning, at church, the pastor said his sermon was going to be about the garden. Finally, someone was going to give me my answers. I sat up straight on the bench. This is one Sunday, I was not going to fall asleep.

After about 1 1/2 hours of sermon, he still had not answered my questions.

As the congregation was leaving, I made sure I was the last one out. I said, "Pastor, I need some answers about that special garden."

The pastor led me into his conference room where we could sit comfortably. He said, "My child, what are your questions?"

"Where is this garden? How do I get there?"

The pastor said, "I'm not sure I can answer all your questions. But, I will try. I will try to explain it to you as it was explained to me, many years ago.

At the end of time, when the almighty opens the eastern skies, there will be a golden staircase descending from the heavens. We will walk up that staircase to a large archway, with a gate. The archway will be entwined with roses of many colors.

Inside that gate is a wide path to walk upon. On each side of the path will be fields of flowers. At the end of the path, there will be millions and millions of angels gathered around.

In the middle of that gathering will be the Master, in His purple robe.

"How do I get there?" I asked.

The pastor smiled, again, and said, "That is all up to you."

"Do you think there will be doggies in heaven, too? 'Cause we will sure miss our dear little friends. Do we need to make reservations?"

The pastor replied, "Christ was crucified on the cross. Then, He arose from the dead and ascended to the heavens above. Our reservations were made at that time. It is up to each of us if we want to keep that seating or give it to someone else."

I stood up, shook the pastor's hand, and thanked him for giving me the answers I had been searching many years for. Then, I hurried out the church, to go home as quickly as I could.

I ran into the house, then to the bedroom where my wife was lying in bed. Sitting down on the bed, beside her, I took a small bony hand and placed it gently in mine.

We both looked at each other and smiled. We knew that time was getting shorter and that, soon, I would be left alone ... just for a little while.

I said, "The pastor told me about a garden that I am sure you will love to see. There are many flowers there and I know how much you like flowers.

The pastor said that we will see our little friends, again, too. So, I know you won't be lonely while you wait for me."

Then, I leaned over and whispered, "I love you. I have one last request to ask of you." She nodded her head.

A bright light covered the length of her body and I knew she would be there waiting for me.

These were the last words she heard.

"Won't you wait for me at the gate to the garden. Then, we will walk, together, inside. We will see our friends and our loved ones, again. What a gathering it will be, in the end.

Won't you wait for me at the gate to the garden. Then, we will walk, together, inside. We will see our momma, papa, sister, and brother. What a gathering it will be, bye and bye."

© 1995 by Robert H. Gilbert, Jr.

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