... I wanted to give you just a small sample of some of his inspirational writing. I first read this many, many years ago and I just wanted to be able to shake his hand and say, THANK YOU for putting into words all that I've wanted to say. You perfectly expressed my fears and reservations, and let me know that I'm not alone, nor am I a "bad Christian" for feeling this way. It was also because of him that I found the book SURPRISED BY HOPE by N.T. Wright, which, as I mentioned earlier, was a real turning point for me. I finally realized that I had been trying to fit myself -- a spiritual AND physical being -- into some ethereal, spiritual-only sort of picture of the afterlife that held absolutely no comfort or appeal to me. I thought I was a horrible person for wanting to cling to this life, and wondered what was wrong with me. It wasn't until I read that book that the truth that the Church had always taught finally sank in. There will be a new heaven and a NEW EARTH. A new earth. We will be reunited with our bodies one day, and we will have physical surroundings that we can be happy in. I want seasons... the smells of freshly baked bread... the feel of a warm sweater on a chilly afternoon... the taste of hot tea as I sit by a window and watch the rain falling down... the sounds of the voices of those I love... and the sight of a gorgeous world filled with all of the wonders of creation. THIS is an image I can hold on to and look forward to.
I rejoice that Michael, and those family members and friends who have already gone before me, have been able to see some of the wonders that are coming.