Your Carriage to Heaven
What Destination Will You Choose?
Many people have made up their minds about where they will go or not go after they complete their time on Earth. Others have never considered the question or are afraid to face it. Have you given it any thought?
Robin Williams' film What Dreams May Come (1998) offered the suggestion that we make our own afterlife and choose the location of it. Some individuals believe that and enjoy the sense of autonomy the idea gives. Readers find much of this in the stories within the Carriage Driver Trilogy.
In Robin's film, his character searches for his wife Annie in the afterlife, determined to spend eternity with her. Coincidentally, the story "An Appointment With Annie" in Carriage Driver³ is my favorite. It features our state's beloved astronaut John Glenn as he waits in the beyond for his Annie to join him.
Some folks believe only in a Heaven and Hell based in scripture. Some people have been to one or the other of them and returned after accidents and visions.
As the Christian pastor played by Matthew McConaughey in the film Contact (1997) indicated, no one has any foundation for discrediting another person's beliefs - traveling to outer space is just as credible as traveling to Heaven.
Whether options available to us for our eternal destinies exist, the stories of Mike Friedman offer magical alternatives that are comforting. Many resonate with readers.
You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.— John 20:29. New Living Translation.
The Eternal Journey Begins
Nuelle, a white mare that served in the American Civil War pulls a beautiful highly-polished carriage driven by her human partner. Together, they are serving others long-term before choosing their own destinies in the beyond.
The pair have an appointment book and help a diversity of people to find their place in the universe. Many of the stories occur in Boston, Massachusetts.
The first stop for the carriage us often a grand castle where the sojourner can relax, eat, and refresh himself or herself before traveling to a more permanent location. I have actually heard this before. In a talk given by Reverend Jesse Duplantis I heard of such a place.
The evangelist had decided to take a short nap before a church service one evening and as his head hit the pillow, he felt he was transported to Heaven. There, he saw angels ministering to some individuals as they sat around a tree outside the gateway. The angels were feeding the people to give them greater strength in order to pass through the gates and experience the Kingdom of God.
The stories of the horse and carriage may reflect unearthly realities. Jesse came "back to earth" to share a lot of heart-warming stories with the congregation that night.
As they were walking along and talking, suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.— 2 Kings: 2-11. New Living Translation
Places to Go
The third book of stories includes one about an old man who wants to go back to his grandmother's basement.
During the Great Depression, the basement was warm all year long, its shelves filled with canned goods produced by the women of a large family in a large house. They shared with everyone who was in need. In the basement, the young man slept by the boiler or sat and read great novels from boxes left by one of the family friends who had gone to the Great Beyond. Sunshine lit the windows and aromas of various pies always filled the air.
It was a time when people banded together to survive hard times and found good times unexpected in the process.
And the witnesses heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Come up here." And they went up to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched them.— Revelation 11:12. New International Version.
I don't recall anyone being transfigured in The Carriage Driver³, but I remember another young man who met with a guru in the afterlife and heard about the seven cities of heaven. The youngster delightedly chose one and hoped to spend time in them all.
Would it not be joyous to find seven good cities where we would not have to endure school shootings, back alley shootings, and shootings in our own home, combined with pipe bombs all over Texas? I think it would be perfect.
Some faiths speak of seven levels of Heaven. We may get to see for ourselves one day.
In the carriage driven by Union Army Captain Griffin Chaffey, each fare makes choices of what to see and where to go. It is all up to each fare, each name in the book. In the third book of the series, over thirty journeys are described to us.
Some stories make us ask questions at the end. One narrative in particular features an elderly woman who escaped with her family from France during the Nazi invasions to live in America. She kept the apartment in France, though, for decades and sent the rent payment each month. We wonder what stories that apartment might tell us.
Some stories include animals. "Zoey" features a faithful dog shared by an old man and a young boy - or it could be two young boys by the end of the story.
Some journeys are longer than others, like the one in the song A Horse With No Name. A long journey may be the one you want.
Several of the carriage stories feature music and musical instruments. The third volume embraces visions of a great rock concert in the sky that includes musicians welcoming Chuck Berry.
You will read about men, women, children; musicians, Vietnam Veterans, and animals - at least a dog and a cat. A forty-six hour shootout happens as well, but someone still reaches a happy afterlife. All sorts of things happen in this book - one lady asks to go to Emerald Wells, the setting of another of Mike Friedman's comforting books.
The stories of the carriage rides are all uplifting and pay homage to various thoughts about life, fulfillment, and death as a transition. I hope you like many of them.
I'll Meet You On God's Golden Shore
Even through this is the last installment of a book trilogy, I would like to hear some stories on recently departed persons. Maybe someone will write them.
The world recently lost four aged men that people wondered about when they were alive: Billy Graham, Jerry Lewis, Hugh Hefner, and Stephen Hawking.
We hear that in the next life, we will be given worlds over which to rule. What worlds would be given to Billy Graham?
Would Jerry Lewis be making movies in Heaven with the techniques he invented during life? At least he would no longer have diabetes.
It is difficult to imagine Hugh Hefner with a Playboy Castle in the afterlife.
Professor Hawking said that he felt Heaven to be a fairy tale. I hope he changed his mind or found the delight of a fairy tale.
Everybody talkin' about Heaven ain't goin' there...— Walk All Over God's Heaven
- Hendrix, S. Columbus homicides hit record-high in 2017. The Lantern. January 2018. www.thelantern.com/2018/01/columbus-homicides-hit-record-high-in-2017/ Retrieved March 20, 2018.
- Inglish, P. 1001 Mansions in Heaven, From a Different Kind of Writer. January 2017.
- Friedman, M. The Carriage Driver. 2016.
- Friedman, M. The Carriage Driver³. 2017.
- Friedman, M. Emerald Wells Cafe and Pear Blossom Lane. 2013.
- McLaughlin, E.C. 5 bombs in 19 days have Texas police, federal agents scrambling for answers. www.cnn.com/2018/03/19/us/austin-explosions-bomb-timeline/index.html Retrieved March 19, 2018.
© 2018 Patty Inglish