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Understanding Heaven at Christmas

Through these special people, God gave me a very pure understanding of what heaven is really all about.


A good friend was raising a profoundly disabled daughter, and his heart belonged to helping her and other developmentally challenged people. Little did I know how God would teach me through knowing them.

My friend was on the board of directors at Harbor House, a beautiful ministry for the developmentally challenged. Those in the Harbor House “family” came from every walk of life, every race, faith, challenge and circumstance. They were loved and encouraged in ways many thought impossible. Those who cared for them felt they were able to see Christ in a whole new way, that he was giving them glimpses of heaven through their charges. Those who live there exhibit unconditional love on a daily basis. And it was through the people who call Harbor House home that God gave me a very pure understanding of what heaven is really all about.

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One November, the residents of Harbor House decided to create a living Nativity. Together they built the stable; the older ones sewed the beautiful clothes for Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, the wise men, shepherds and angels. Roles were assigned, and together those who were challenged by life but surrounded by love presented the living Nativity as I had never seen it before.

The pageant opened to a precious brunette with the voice of an angel singing “What Child Is This,” with Mary holding Baby Jesus and Joseph hovering over her; the shepherds and wise men arrived, and angels glistened everywhere.

It was at this moment that the father of one young angel approached me and said, “We used to hide our children, Trudy; then we brought them out of hiding and now everyone is celebrating them.” I have never forgotten his words, or the beautiful smile on his face. It was the loveliest Christmas celebration I have ever seen. I feel certain that Jesus wanted us to see and understand heaven as he does, through the unconditional love for all children.

Trudy gets so many questions and stories of end-of-life experiences from Guideposts readers, we decided to make her responses a regular feature on her blog. If you have a story about a “glimpse of heaven,” please share it with us. Send it to

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