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God Squad: Signs won’t be interpreted the same way by all of us

Thank you to all my dear readers for deluging me with your signs from heaven. I am deeply touched by all of them. However, I think this will be the end of signs from dead people for a while.

There are several reasons for this hiatus.

I can’t keep saying that talking to dead people and receiving signs from dead people violates the spiritual barrier between life and death that God has placed in our lives to keep us focused on life if I keep including examples of people who have received signs from heaven.

These signs may be real examples of communications with the dead or they may be just powerful coincidences we choose to interpret as signs. I don’t know, and moreover I do not want to know. What I do know, or what I suspect, is that a sign is a poor substitute for true faith. Instead of belief, instead of faith, if we say that a sign we can see or touch or hear gives us proof that our beloved is in heaven and watching over us, we are really saying we do not believe God’s promise of heaven without some empirical proof.

I believe that our dearly departed are in heaven (except for the guy who cut me off on the highway yesterday). I believe they are watching over us, and I believe we will not be separated forever from those we love.

However, I believe all this not because I picked up a penny from the street that was minted in the same year my father was born. I believe this not because of the detritus that spills from heaven, but because of the love that spills from God. I believe it because of my faith in a loving God who has made our souls in God’s image.

I do not believe it because I saw it in the backyard or on a beach or in a store. Backyards and beaches and stores are for this world. Heaven is for the world to come.

I am happy these signs have brought so much hope to the kind readers who have written to me. I am glad these signs comforted you in your time of grief. Nonetheless, I ask you to consider the impact your stories of signs from heaven might have on others who are also in grief but who have not received any signs. They may be happy for you, as I am, but they also may become upset and depressed because they were not as fortunate as you.

They may wonder why their dearly departed have not chosen or not been able to send them a sign of hope and love. What you think of as a mark of hope may be for the sign-less a mark of despair. So let us all agree that death is not a problem to be solved. Death is a mystery to be confronted.

I conclude with one last sign from heaven because it is so tender and because in this, as in everything I write about every week, I could be wrong.

God bless all the parts of our journey to God and to hope.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Our son, J, died in 1979. He was 19. A few days before that terrible accident, he was playing a game with our daughter, M, his 16-year-old sister who adored him. He told her he would let her win if she promised to name her firstborn son after him. Eight years later, she did just that. She gave birth to a boy, and her son was also named J.

When young J was around 4 years old, he tried to reach for a ball in the backyard pool. He fell into the deep end. His mother’s back was turned, but she immediately heard him coughing and saw his little head coming up the ladder. She jumped in and pulled him out.

After they both calmed down, she asked how he knew to get to the ladder. He said the boy told him. She asked what boy? He said the boy in the pool. The boy said, “Open your eyes and walk to the ladder.” J is 31 years old today. He is a New York City policeman and was married on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018 — and his dead uncle had saved his life.

— From M

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