Voice of Cami-Endless Hope (The Book)
This page is devoted exclusively to the book by the same title, Voice of Cami-Endless Hope. It will be produced in multiple volumes due to its size. These books will be in 8.5 x 11 inch format and in large print as well as in e-book format and available at Amazon.
The series will explore many very important ideas about this life, the life to come and why such fantastic ideas are not at all unrealistic. The book is a mix of concepts to inspire the imagination of the reader to at least ask themselves important questions such as: are such things possible, could this or something like this be true, and if so how can I participate in this kind of reality? It is a fictional book using real people from the past and present. The experience in the book is happening to Stephani, Cami’s mother. I would like to introduce you to the book. The entire first chapter can be read right here. I hope you enjoy it and will be interested in getting volume one when it is released.
The Journey Begins
It has been two weeks since the funeral for our youngest daughter Cami, which is a shortened form of her name, Camille. There was a horrible accident and she was badly hurt and we had a very long day that ended with her dying and us holding her the last time. Then we went through the days of desiring and looking for her being raised up and returning to this life with us by a working of the power of God. We did not see that and came to the funeral and the moment I did not at all want to experience; putting my hand on the casket at the cemetery at the close of the graveside service and telling her I was so sorry for the events of these days and for her leaving us and this life so very soon; way too soon.
I know the living part of her is not in the casket but it is a kind of contact point with her on the earth. As I do that I am so glad for that which I know concerning where the living part of her is and that a day of resurrection for this body truly is coming. (1 Corinthians 15:12-24, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and others) I wonder what her body will look like when the resurrection happens. I know the wounds and damage will be gone. But will she be little like she was when she died or different?
Because we are settled in our minds on the factual nature of this future event we picked one of her very cute pictures, which I am so glad we have many of, to put on the front of her funeral bulletin and the statement “In Loving Memory and Joyful Anticipation”. The memory of her short life really is filled with good things right up to the moment of this storm that ended her life with us so very quickly. There is an old song in Pentecostal circles about the resurrection that has a line in it “Ain’t no grave gonna hold my body down”. The grammar might not be right but the message is correct.
I am glad that her fifteen months with us were good days. She lived a good little life with no problems and great health until this accident. Given how this has hit me, and I am in position to have a positive confidence of her true nature and know without doubt where the unseen part of her went when her little life ended, it is difficult for me to even guess at the depth of despair that would haunt every corner of the mind of the parent looking at a similar casket with their baby in it but without any confident knowledge as to what happened after death or why this horrible event could even happen.
Tonight everyone else is in bed. It has been a very nice day in terms of weather. I decided to do something that my dad frequently does but I have not done all that often and go outside, find a place away from lights, put the lounge chair in a reclining position and watch the stars. It is a moonless night. We are over 6000 feet in altitude so the stars are much clearer, crisper and brighter than at lower altitudes where their light must pass through an additional mile of the densest atmosphere. It is something my dad comments on every time they are out here. He and my husband sometimes take the four wheeler’s on rides after dark and stop someplace on a mountain and look at that big sky with its great night time light show. I suppose that is one of the reasons this part of the country is sometimes called “big sky country”. We moved to Afton, Wyoming in 2001 when my husband finished his graduate degree in Occupational Therapy and took a job in Afton. Recently we moved from Afton to a nice house in the country a few miles to the south. It is by a small community called Fairview which is where the cemetery is located where Cami is buried.
On this particular night I am just relaxing, enjoying the end of the day and the many blessings that have been my life from my earliest memories up to this very time even though we have been through something in the past several days that I would not wish on anyone. Yet I know I am very far from being the only person to run into this kind of personal tragedy. It has unfortunately been something that millions upon millions have experienced for thousands of years. Little ones dying has taken so many different forms from the purely accidental, to the ones that have died from sickness, disease, hunger, being abandoned, abused, killed before being born, a malfunction in the mother that caused the little one to not make it, being attacked by people for various reasons and many others. And that is just talking about the babies and little children. Tragedy has managed to be present throughout the entire range of human experience and sometimes invades the lives of elderly people at the very end of life in the form of some debilitating disease. Plus there are all the bad things that have nothing to do with physical health or death which also bring much distress and misery into the lives of people.
As I watch the sky I am so glad that I have been mostly spared from any of those other situations. The one we have just gone through is plenty for me. I very much hope that the day little Cami died is the worst day of my life and my sisters and my parents and my husbands family. People dying, in both the physical and spiritual forms, is always an enemy according to the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:26) and did not come into being by the Lord’s desire or will. But it is especially unpleasant when it gets significantly out of order such as when the baby dies and parents, grandparents and great grand parents are alive to see it. It is much easier to take when the person dying is old, full of years, has been able to have a good life AND (this is a very big “and” in my opinion) you know they belong to the Lord and their spirit man immediately departs this world for the grand and wonderful place we call heaven and read about in the Bible. That is much easier to take.
Even so, if it is a great place for grandpa or grandma or others to go when they are full of years and end this life, it is also a great place for the little ones to go even though they should not be going that young. The words of the little song small children learn in church comes to my mind; “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight”. I am glad it is true. I learned that song decades ago in little classes at church with other small friends of mine.
I very much miss Cami but I know only her body is dead. Her spirit and soul are with the Lord and she is in wonderful condition and living a life I can barely guess at in wild imaginations and only in little fragments. I take comfort in the elements of the Bible that talk about that hope and what the future holds for the one that belongs to the Lord, as all these little ones do who leave here too early and always under bad circumstances. Not one of them has ever gone to heaven because God “took” them, or “called them home” or “needs unopened buds for his heavenly bouquet” or any of the other feeble attempts to put a lighter weight spin on the death of children. When they die it is ALWAYS the result of something bad and ungodly happening. It has never been the design of the Lord for death to take little ones under any circumstances thought it has happened all through human history. But there is the promise of the eventual destroying of death.
All who die in Jesus will have that final raising up of the physical part of them to a level of supernatural life like the body Jesus demonstrated for six weeks after his resurrection. (Luke 24, Acts 1:1-3) A few of those experiences which his followers were privileged to be part of are recorded in the last portion of each of the first four books of the New Testament and a little in the first chapter of Acts. My dad has used the engineering terms of “the proven prototype” and “serial number one” to describe the body of Jesus and its relationship to everyone else that will be raised up in Him. (John 6:38-40) His is the successful, proven pattern and design that the others will be produced from with the same attributes when that time comes. Meanwhile those who die in the Lord live in that literal wonderland totally free from anything bad ever again entering their environment. The apostle Paul referred to the body of Christ as a two part organism when he said “the whole family in heaven and earth”. He also said that entire family was and is and always will be named in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Ephesians 3:14-21) That is the ultimate name for many reasons. (Philippians 2:5-11)
The sky above me is very beautiful and exhilarating and I know I am seeing such a very small part of a universe built by this God whom I know as my own personal savior and Father. This which I can see from my yard and much more I cannot see and even more that has not yet been seen by mankind is going to eventually be something I will be able to move around in with those supernatural abilities the Lord is going to give to all who belong to him. I am easily encouraged about the “joyful anticipation” part of the statement on Cami’s grave stone. In some of his messages on this subject my dad has said the day is coming when the child of God will move between the galaxies with more ease and less effort than we use to go from one room of a house to another. It sounds extraordinarily farfetched and way out there, but that kind of a future is resting on equally extraordinary facts from the past. Since the God of those past facts was correct in them, one should not simply dismiss the amazing statements being made about the future if they are coming from the same source. I am glad that I can genuinely rest with great confidence in the fact that the God I am involved with, indeed a child of by His action and not mine, is genuinely the infinite being that He is.
As I am watching the sky and just relaxing I am doing a little thinking about tomorrow. It will be the birthday of my oldest daughter who will be eight. Her birthday will be three weeks after the accident. I have to admit that I am not as excited about her little party as I have been with all of them in the past and wish I was for this one. She is going to have a nice time and will have fun but I am not in it as much as usual. I know that slump will pass but I also know I am going to be watching her doing what she is going to do at her party with her friends and two sisters and know we are done with birthday parties for Cami and we only got to have one. I will not see her again until I leave this life for the place where she now lives, either through death or the return of Jesus to receive the body of Christ from the earth.
I am not sure when it got here but I finally noticed something a few feet above my head that was moving in the mostly dark sky. It startled me and for a moment I was taken by surprise wondering if I was seeing a bat. We rarely see one in this area. But there it is, ten or so feet above me. I am now focused on this unusual creature and wondering what exactly it is that I am looking at and do I need to move? Watching it closely in the very dim light that is available where I am sitting I see that it is hovering which really has me wondering what it is. We have hummingbirds which hover. But they do not fly at night. This one would be the worlds biggest if that is what it is.
Suddenly it is as if a very soft low power flood light illuminates it yet I have no idea where the soft white light is coming from. It is just there and I can clearly see that I am looking at a decent sized bird. Not big like the bald eagles that are around here but much bigger than the robins and other song birds that inhabit the area. It is in fact a dove. It is bigger than the usual doves we see. And it is hanging there in a stationary position with the wings moving ever so slowly. They cannot possibly be providing the power to keep it hovering. People talk about having the hairs on their neck stand up when they are startled, shocked, frightened, etc. I think they are starting to stand up because this is unlike anything I have ever seen or ever heard of.
My mind races in search of ideas concerning doves and I find something which does succeed in causing the hairs to stand up. It is a section of the Bible that talks about Jesus going to John the Baptist and John baptizing him. They see the Spirit of God descend on Jesus in the bodily shape of a dove. (Matthew chapter 3, Luke 3:21-22) My hesitation and moderate amount of concern for what I am seeing turns into excitement at this thought. The creature I am looking at is clearly not a customary, natural creature due to what it is doing and how it is behaving and the setting all this is happening in. As I look at the dove it reorients itself like a helicopter so that its face is looking straight at my face for the first time. I can clearly see the eyes and they look like they are being softly illuminated from inside. The wings stop their slow movement but it continues to be suspended in a stationary spot above and in front of me. One wing begins to motion towards me. It is what I would do if I were to motion to someone to come to me. I have not said anything out loud but I am thinking that I really need to do this. With no effort on my part, I begin to rise very slowly.
In what I think was perhaps four or five seconds I am now face to face with this very unusual creature. The original anxiety at the wondering of the unknown has been replaced with a friendly excitement at what I have experienced so far and what might be to come. As this dove looks into my face I suddenly realize that it is conveying information directly to my mind. I do not seem to actually be hearing a voice as I would hear someone talking to me. Yet that which is coming to my mind is every bit as clear as if it was an audible voice. It is almost like a passenger briefing on an airplane. From within me I just know this is a good thing, that there is no reason to fear or be concerned about anything, and that it will be an adventure unlike any I have ever had.