What Might Be: The Hall of Pictoglyphs
The angel and Jamie walked slowly up the hill toward one of the great halls. Each one was unique, designed for a speci c purpose: to bring pleasure in a particular area—emotionally, or physically. Like the other large structures Jamie had seen from a distance, this one was on top of a large plateau, stately and majestic, with enormous pillars outside that lined the entire perimeter. As they slowly approached, it became clear that these were by far the biggest pillars and the biggest building—at least twice as large as the others—he had visited so far. Jamie realized that it would take at least ten people his size with outstretched arms to be able to reach all the way around a pillar, and he didn’t even try to count them. Each building seemed to be about the width of a football eld on the front side. As they walked up the incline toward the building, they approached at an angle, and it became evident that it was at least ten times as long as it was wide. Large trees—like giant redwoods—guarded it like sen- tinels and prevented him from seeing how far back the monu- ment actually went.
They were completely silent as they made their nal approach; the only sound Jamie heard was their own soft foot- falls on the immaculate lawn as they ascended the inclined yard that led to the steps of the structure. The lawn was lined on both sides with owers of every color, size, and shape. Their aroma alone was enough to reveal this as heaven, but the colors were richer and fuller than anything he had ever imagined. It was as if the moment would be spoiled if anyone spoke. They walked together, Jamie a half step ahead, anticipation growing stronger with each step that brought them closer to the huge, wide granite doors.
They stopped. Jamie slowly raised his head to determine the height, which had to be at least a hundred feet. The angel xed his gaze on Jamie, reveling in the moment, sharing the excite- ment with his charge, anxious to explain, but patient to wait for the right moment.
“Wow. I didn’t know anything this big could exist anywhere in all of creation. What is this place?”
“You might think of it as your personal walk down memory lane. It’s one of the great halls with your name on it. You will visit some of the others later.”
“This one is dedicated just to me? And there are others?”
“Oh, yes, Jamie, many others. This is just the rst of many. I am honored to take an image-bearer for the rst visit to one of his personal great halls. This one is called The Jamie Voigt Hemphill Great Hall of Pictoglyphs. Please follow me.”
They traveled the last few steps up the marble steps and to the entrance, past the huge pillars silently guarding the front like gentle giants smiling at the surrounding countryside. The structure smelled like a new home, freshly scented with the clean smells of roses and honeysuckle. Inside appeared to be marble, just like the beautiful walls and surrounding columns outside. A cool breeze seemed to come from out of the dimly lit hallway ahead, and the path down the center was wide enough for at least fty people to walk shoulder to shoulder.
After they had traversed about fty feet, the guide stopped and turned to face his charge with a broad smile of excited anticipation, as if he were the one who was about to be the bene ciary of the waiting surprises. Suddenly—as when you turned on a light switch in a pitch-black room—the surface in front of them rippled and disappeared, and this rst section came alive with color and light. It was a picture—a photograph of Jamie and his family. They were outdoors on a bright, sunny day, a gentle breeze wafting the intoxicating smells of nature all around them. They were all smiling and dressed up as if going to a special banquet or celebration. Behind them—making it a picture-perfect setting—was an ancient log cabin, complete with a smoking replace offering the smell of something savory, cooking slowly. It was peaceful and comforting just to gaze at it, as if somehow this scene was made just to be preserved—and enjoyed—by the family.
Mary, Jamie’s wife, was sitting on a wooden stool, back straight, smile wide, and con dent joy evident in the curves of the smile on her face. Her light pink shirt perfectly comple- mented the pastel, oor-length skirt with pink roses. A rose was in her lap, cradled gently by her left hand.
Jamie stood just behind her with his right hand resting on her right shoulder. He was dressed in a white shirt, dark blue suit, and a sporty red tie, looking dapper and friendly. His wide smile indicated the utter joy he felt in his heart, like there wasn’t a care in the world because the family was together. His bright eyes and sparkling teeth weren’t at all discouraged by his thin- ning hair. It was as if he was exactly who he should be, a perfect t to ll the needs of the many others in his life who looked up to him, respected his wise counsel on all things godly, and honored him as friend and colleague. It was like a snapshot of perfection: perfect love from above, harmony at home, and companionship cherished—all rolled into one picture.
The bookends, their two sons, Kendal on the left and Steve on the right, were also dressed up for the occasion, smiling and content, though perhaps completely clueless of just how blessed they really were. When wisdom lives in the room across the hallway, appreciation doesn’t rule the day. Taking wisdom for granted becomes the norm, and appreciation may not well up in the human heart until wisdom personi ed—Dad—makes his exit.
As he gazed at the scene, Jamie smiled. The memories of family and the love that ooded their home came rushing in like a tsunami. Picnics, camping trips, hunting excursions, long drives, family get-togethers, and a host of other thoughts ashed through his head like a cherished photo album, clean and neatly organized. The joys of this hall were going to exceed anything yet experienced.
Jamie studied the picture, and the angel studied Jamie, eyes wide with joy and wonder.
“Jamie, every picture you ever took—or that was ever taken of you—is in this building. And as you have probably already noticed, each one is now much more than just a snapshot. Sweet aromas, gentle breezes, and a variety of other enhancements are included with each unique picture. Not only will each one jog your memory of the event, you will remember details and expe- rience feelings that connect you even more deeply with each one.
“I know you must be enjoying this particular picture—the King knew it was one of your favorites—but if you will just turn toward the opposite wall, you’ll see the spiritually enhanced version. This will bring the wonders of your past life in the shadow lands of the post- ood earth into even clearer view. Just across from each picture is a version of the same picture that includes your guardians—the angels assigned to those who will receive salvation.”
With eyes wide, and with the silence of an obedient sheep, Jamie turned one hundred-eighty degrees to face the opposite wall just as it began to illuminate with the enhanced version of the same scene. His mouth dropped open, but words didn’t come.
The picture now added the unseen world to the physical reality. Enormous, muscular, stone-faced giants stood silently behind each member of the family—as if they were a perma- nent, unseen member. They weren’t smiling as each family member was. Their faces were those of battle-weary, victory- focused warriors with a single-mindedness for care and pro- tection that was unstoppable. Swords hung at their sides—tiny words like etched artwork adorning each one with the unique- ness of a painting by Michelangelo. They re ected light like polished diamonds, but this didn’t negate their erce design to defend the faithful.
Each warrior had one hand on his sword, ready to draw and defend in an instant. Then Jaime noticed more of their kind in the background, almost blending into the surrounding, but facing the other way—like a battle-trained ghting unit, these were guarding the perimeter. No one—man or beast, seen or unseen—would be catching this angelic host by surprise. It was obvious that their constant, unwavering vigilance was ingrained into their personality, like soldiers stationed on the border of an enemy nation.
All male, all muscular, these hulk-like towers of strength and power were messengers of the King, sent to guard these children of the kingdom until they left the temporary cocoon and burst into the real world, the realm of the King— lled with joys and pleasures unspeakable. And it was obvious that they were focused on the task of defending and protecting this Hemphill family.
Jamie stood there—soaking in each and every detail that this rst pictoglyph revealed. Finally, he heard his guide say, “Jamie, would you like to step inside the pictoglyph now and examine the details more closely?”
Wonders never cease.
Steve Hemphill, author / inspirational speaker
“My Search for the Real Heaven”
(Also Available In Spanish)
“My Search for the Real Heaven Workbook”
“My Search for Prayers Satan Hates”
“What Are The Stakes?” (God Markers On the Land)