My wife and I both grew up in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. From the time we were both children, we were believers in Jesus Christ.
Our parents were on a different path, though. My father in law, though a righteous man, and a man wholly devoted to the church, did not know the way of Salvation. My mother was not a churchgoer at all, and had in fact refused to go to the Orthodox church or any church, since she was not of middle eastern ancestry. Her religion seemed to be geneology. She was quite obsessed with finding Europeon royalty in our ancestry, but it kept coming up commoners and sometimes unsavory individuals. She even found out that her very white family had one black african in its background and some native American. Myself, I could care less.
About three years ago, both of them became ill with cancer. Not a mild form, but each had the most terminable. Our families did everything we could to prolong their lives. We tried conventional as well as unconventional treatments. There was some improvement but the trend was against recovery.
My wife and I prayed with and over them both constantly. We read the scriptures to them, most notably Romans chapter 10 vs. 9-13, which says if a man confesses with his mouth that Jesus is Lord and believes in his heart that God has raised Him from the dead, he WILL be saved.
Little by little it seemed to sink in.
When my father in law died in the hospital, my wife sobbed uncontrollably. She and her father were very close and it seemed unreal that this wonderful man was gone.
He was a very humble man in life and in fact, because he did not have much money left when he found out he was dying, he had planned to buy a plot in a small, humble cemetary that the poor of our area are buried in.
But, my wife told him not to worry, we would take care of seeing to it that he be buried in the cemetery in which all the rest of his family was buried.
One night some time before he died, when we knew it was only going to be a few months, I drove to the humble country cemetery and sat in the cool summer evening under a shade tree in my pickup, taking in the scene.
The poorer people of our county who had died with little, were buried in this serene setting. I grieved as I thought about this humble cemetery and how my father in law, in all humility was going to buy a plot and be buried there, away from his family, in that that was all he could afford. But, as I said, we took care of it.
Within 3 months of each other, in much pain and suffering, they both died. My father in law first, and then my mother. It seemed unreal. They both had had last rites. They both had heard the Romans chapter 10 prayer several times, and other parts of scripture. My mother gave her assent to the prayer and told me she believed Jesus was the son of God, and that God had raised Him from the dead. So, I thought, yes, God had brought this suffering to her to bring her to Himself. He had to break down the barriers. He had to purge her. He did the same to my father in law.
We prayed afterwards to know if they went to heaven, then continued on with life and its troubles. I wondered if we had succeeded in guiding them to Jesus Christ and salvation. I wondered in my heart 'was it all worth it'. The suffering, the purging, the pain an sorrow...
Months went by. One sunday I went to my Orthodox Church without my wife. Afterwards, I invited the Priest and his family to lunch. His son road with me on the two lane country road that led away from the small town the church was in to the larger city in which the restaurant was located.
It had been a rainy day and the sky was filled with dark clouds. But, I had this urge to look up. There, in the sky, was a huge equilateral triangle. Inside the triangle it was filled with white clouds and had a three dimensional aspect like a long corridor.
I told the young guy, Danny, look at that, do you see that? He said he did. I was afraid and kept driving peeking up every once in a while. Then, I saw three little gray clouds go into the triangle. Two stopped where eyes would be on a face, and the other where a mouth would be. The 'eyes' became round like eyes would. The 'mouth' was straight across and a little frightening. I thought to myself 'if it would smile, I would not be afraid'. Suddenly, the mouth went into a smile.
Next, a larger cloud went into the triangle from the outside. Suddenly, it took the shape of a head, with eyes, hair, nose, mouth, neck, etc. I could not believe what I was seeing. Then, the face went into profile. This could not be happening I thought to myself. I was truly becoming bewildered and afraid. I asked Danny if he saw it too, and he said he did.
I punched the accelerator. I was very afraid. I then looked up again, and the triangle was gone, but there was something like cord in the sky, seeming to form handwriting. I did not stop to read it. I was so freaked out at this point I just looked ahead and drove wanting to get away and get to the restaurant to tell the priest.
When I told him this story he said maybe the military was conducting some black ops project. I told him 'no'. This was personal. It had read my mind.
Later when I got home I told my wife. She did not have any idea. At that point, neither did I.
The next night I was home alone thinking about it. Suddenly, the thought came to my head: that was your father in law and mother. They are in heaven. Thank you.
I called a priest friend of mine to discuss what I thought. He said he believed me. He also told me that the triangle was the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I know now what I saw. I saw the answer to my prayers. God showed me 'yes, the effort we made to see them saved, was worth it. They are with God and they will never suffer again. Jesus Saved them'
May the Lord be praised and magnified forever and ever. Amen