Monday, July 14, 2008

Bound To Heaven

This photo was forwarded to Joe and Karen by Jeff Ort. This is Joey's last photo on earth. He passed away 4 days later after this was taken.

Jeff took this photo accidentally at the airport the night Joey flew back to the mainland after his wonderful visit with his family here on Maui on Mothers Day (and also for JoAnne and Ryan's graduation). Joey was going through the security check.

This photo symbolizes something - it seems to tell a story: His back is turned, he is on his way someplace we can't go; notice the sign that says "Do not enter" and the arrow pointing upward that is reflected on his back. He is relaxed and ready to go. His shoes are off, his backpack is off. For Joe and Karen, somehow it feels like a message from God to them that He has it all under was part of His plan for Joey and it is comforting.... very comforting to see this photo as his last photo until we meet him again.

Note: I am leaving this post up on top for several days because this is a pretty amazing reminder that God gives us pockets of joy in times of grief. This photo is an encouragement not only to Karen and Joe but to EVERYONE who reads this and hear about this. Make sure you read all the comments in here - pretty comforting!
- Liza / Liza's Eyeview


Anonymous said...

1 Peter 1: 4-6

"And God has reserved for his children the priceless gift of eternal life;it is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled,beyond the reach of change and decay. And God,in his mighty power,will make sure you get there safely to recieve it, because you are trusting him. It will be yours in that coming last day for all to see. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though the going is rough for a while down here."

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe & Karen,

That is an awesome photo!! PTL!!

Joey is "Safe in the Arms of Jesus" in Heaven. We will join Joey one day...forever...

There are "no" accidents. In GOD"s love & providence - HE provided a tangible source of comfort for you, Jaime & Jo Anne & everyone.

Isaiah 46:3-4:

"Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth.

Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He, I am He who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

Love & Hugs, Kevin & Shirley

Liza's Eyeview said...

I find myself eagerly checking my posts for what the Bible verse would be that would go with it.

Anonymous who puts the verses, thank you. Thank you for listening to the Holy Spirit, and for allowing the Holy Spirit to use you to minister this way. I know it's from the Holy Spirit because he is the Great Comforter ... and these Bible verses posted on comments are such great source of comfort.

Joe and Karen said...

Thank you to our special comforter who leaves the verses. It is beautiful. Thank you Kevin and Shirley...your words always comfort. Thank you Liza for helping us to keep Joey's memory alive.

It all helps so much. The pain of losing Joey is physical and deep, and almost more than we can bear. We trust God to carry us through. HE uses you all. Thank you so much.
Much love, Joe and Karen

Anonymous said...

The picture is awesome and no doubt a way of God reminding us He is in total control. I agree with Kevin and Shirley that there are no accidents. It seems when it becomes completely unbearable He visits us with His great comfort, through a picture, through a kind word,through someone visiting us at the right time, through a much needed phone call and of course with His very presence to calm our hearts.
Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted: He rescues those who are crushed in spitit.
We love you Joe and Karen and our prayers continue to lift you up.

garnett and scott said...

Wow....what a beautiful story and I have "happy chills" running up and down my spine as I realize how comforting this must be for the Johnson family to read. Thanks for sharing this=)

Joe and Karen said...

The other little "sign" that corresponds to this picture is a text message I found on my phone the day after Joey died. I am cellphone-challenged so I never check my messages. I decided to check them when we got to CA. My last text message was from Joey, which he had left when he was visiting us on Maui. It said "Too late I left". I'm not sure why he left it or when he left it, but it was one of those special signs that even though he was gone, he was upbeat and without regret. Just a mom thing probably, but that's the way I see it. It made me smile and wonder in amazement.

Anonymous said...

The Bound to Heaven picture is beyond Awesome!! The old hymn-Blessed Assurance- tells us these things are just a foretaste of Glory Divine! In the midst of your sadness,God continues to give you glimpses of Joey's homegoing.
We miss having you on Maui and continue to lift all your family up inprayer daily.Joyce

Anonymous said...

Jeff mentioned to me that he had a picture of Joey at the airport and that he would be sending it to Karen & Joe. It is truly and amazing sign and comfort from the Lord.

We love you, miss you, and are always praying for all of you.

Cliff & Jeri

Anonymous said...

wow karen, thanks for sharing the little/big things...
joey's text message to you is really convicting me. what will i wish i 'coulda' when i had the opportunity on earth? ...quicker obedience? (yes) more just doing what's in front of me wih joy, knowing i am getting the opportunity to love God back because of what He has done for me. so much He has done - like sacraficing His Only Son to give the hope that joey has already realized. that joey exists in. that joey doesn't wonder about anymore.
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me."
John 14:6
so glad Jesus spoke the truth so plainly to us.
thanks for sharing the precious things of your heart.
love you karen and love that husband of yours too :)
carrie nichols

Anonymous said...

It is difficult for me to read this without tearing. The symbolisms are so profound. The fact that Karen O. prodded Jeff into taking this photo without Joey being the intended target is amazing. But greater than all that, the fact that God cared enough to smile down on you and Joe in this way is utterly amazing to me. What an AMAZING God he is.

Anonymous said...

Psalms 86:11-13
"Tell me where you want me to go and I will go there. May every fiber of my being unite in reverence to your name! With all my heart I will praise you. I will give glory to your name forever, for you love me so much! You are constantly so kind! You have rescued me from the deepest Hell."

C Kepler said...

This week when cleaning out my files, I came upon something from an old bulletin from Manoa Valley Church. It was something I had laminated at a time when I was saddened after miscarrying twins. The words touch me now as they did then, and I could not help but think of your family as I read. Here is the quote:

"So don't seek what's lost; savor what's left. Don't agonize over what transpired; anticipate what lies ahead. And be assured of this: With the Lord by your side, strengthening your resolve with every courageous step taken, the wind and the waves may blow at your door--but your heart will always remain safe and secure."

Jeff's photo of Joey seems to say in pictures what that quote says in words. God is faithful in His reminders that He is always with us.

You are all in our thoughts. We remain vigilant in our prayers.
We miss you and look forward to seeing you home soon. Lots of love.

anjuli paschall said...

that is such a powerful photo. There just are no accidents- god knew that picture needed to be taken. Thanks for sharing it. In my prayers. love anjuli