God of the Fully Alive

I’ll be bold: I think I had a “mini-vision.”

It happened on the Mount of Beatitudes. Some years after my divorce, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, on our last full day there, our priest led us through a thorough litany of forgiveness followed by a healing service. We lined up under the ancient trees, forgiving and begging forgiveness, and as the priest prayed, the Spirit stirred.

Dressed in his alb, the priest moved from person to person, laying on hands and offering a private word. At one point, he turned in such a way that I could see his face. As long as I live, I will never forget that moment.

It was the priest—only it wasn’t.

It was my ex-husband.

Dressed in dazzling white, moving from pilgrim to pilgrim, praying and blessing, he was beaming with an indescribable beauty, freedom, and joy. And I believe in that moment, that I was seeing my ex-husband in Heaven. All of the wounds and strife, every anxiety that had ever plagued him, had just been washed away and he was as he was meant to be: free and whole and ministering to God’s people. It flooded my spirit with peace and joy. I knew down to my bones that this version of him really existed.

Maybe it was just a work of my very fine imagination, but I believe I was given a little “vision” of who my ex-husband was meant to be, of who he was really was, healed from all the wounds and sin of the world, when all of the corruption and injustice had been redeemed. For a flash of a moment, I was seeing him the way the Father did.

Some years later, he died, and I know—at least one day—he will rest not only in peace, but in perfection. I wonder if sometimes God doesn’t give us these little glimpses so we will remember that He is “not God of the dead but of the living, for to him all are alive” (Luke 20:38) and fully alive, whole, and a magnificent reflection of His healing glory.

I was seeing him the way the Father did. // Liz Kelly Click To Tweet

This fantastic depiction of the Last Judgment offers this artist’s interpretation of what happens when we pass.

Liz Kelly is a jazz singer who fell in love with Jesus. She writes, teaches, offers spiritual direction and retreats with a special interest in helping women to flourish in their faith. She’s written six books, including the award-winning Jesus Approaches and the Jesus Approaches Study Supplement. And she still sings jazz, but mainly in the tub and while washing dishes. Find out more about her here.


  • Reply
    Lisa Murphy
    November 23, 2019 at 11:20 am

    Thank you for being brave! Amen!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    I just read this as I was pondering the effects of my own divorce on my adult children. Wrestling with the idea that had I stayed in a really bad situation, maybe my four sons, their wives and their children wouldn’t be so separated from each other. Trying to find forgiveness that will allow me to associate with my ex without the paralyzing anxiety that comes with being in his presence. Struggling to forgive the example he set for our sons and the loss of their innocence and also forgive myself for not being able to present a healthy image of marriage to them and for the ultimate selfishness that led me to beg for a divorce. I often remind myself that he is still a child of God as am I. Thank you for being brave and sharing your mini vision. I needed another way to look at this. May we all trust that God can and will use our failings and weaknesses for a good we can’t even imagine. God Bless You

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