I have to say I'm more than amused by the collection of answers received on what other people think they see in this image of clouds. I've heard it all. "It's the Hulk, Homer Simpson, Big Foot, Elvis, a transformer, and even Arnold Schwarzenegger in his younger years." There are even those who've spotted a UFO on the top right hand side of the photo. But by far, my favorite is those who say "It's just a cloud." No duh... No one's arguing it's not a cloud but is it more? That's the million dollar question!
As the one who released this now viral image, I wanted to let you in on why I see God in this cloud. So, today I share with you a story, a true story of my time in Heaven. Yeah, I said it...I've been to HEAVEN. It all began in the fall of 2000. I had just married the man who I believed was my soul mate and we were honeymooning in Hawaii. The islands were so beautiful he felt we should extend our trip by a few more days. So I called my parents who were babysitting my sons to get their permission.
When I rang my mother, I heard something unusual in her voice. But when I asked if everything was alright she assured me that everything was fine. Thankfully, my folks agreed to watch their grandsons for a little longer so we could bask in the sun and have more fun. It truly was a glorious trip. Upon arriving home, I was a bit surprised to see my mother and brother waiting for us. You see, we only lived a few minutes from the airport.
Somehow my mom convinced us to drive separately and as we approached my house my mother pulled the car over to tell me of my first cousins tragic death. I was in utter disbelief. My cousin- Yolanda was in her early twenties, just finishing up her nursing degree. It was impossible to accept that this lovely young woman was killed in a horrific auto accident. At the time, I was really close with her mom, Patricia. To think I wasn't there to support her broke my heart.
I knew it. I had heard something strange in my mom's voice a few days earlier. She knew of the accident but my family didn't want to disrupt my happiness. If I'd only known...maybe I could have done something, helped out more... Those feelings were eating me up inside. My aunt had been through so much already. She'd lost her husband (46 at the time) to a heart attack, leaving her the single mother of four children. Patricia left the US after his death to return back home to her birthplace-Ireland. Just when her and her kid's lives were beginning to take shape again- tragedy befell upon them.
About a week after I returned home I had a dream, yet it was a dream like no other. I would actually compare it to a near death experience. I have never forgotten a single detail of the dream and it is as vivid today as it was that night I believe I went to heaven. Yes, I said it again, I've been to heaven.
You see, I was staring at crown molding unlike anything I've ever witnessed before. There directly in front of me was a grouping of white roses cut from wood. I was in awe. The work was intricate. You know, very detailed and extremely beautiful. But then I wondered to myself--how could I be looking at crown molding at eye level? So I looked down and to my complete and absolute amazement I was hovering over a mass or religious service being held in a different language. What's more, I was on the ceiling of a giant old Cathedral.
Instantly, I got scared. And the very moment that fear entered my mind, I found myself in the center of a huge hand. This massive hand made me feel safe while it moved me upwards at lightning speed. Faster than I can really explain and when we stopped I found myself standing alone in almost knee-high water. This water was the most crystal clear blue water I've ever laid eyes on- really clean and unspoiled.
Next, I turned around in the water to see a gigantic white staircase filled with people but they didn't look like you or me. They were us but I knew somehow that they are us in our real form. Each was made up of light and dust. Some individuals were lighter and brighter and I knew they were closer to God. And yet there were those who were dusty and dark who needed to work on lessons in order to become brighter, lighter. You could see their bodies and faces but they were not limited by the physical body.
Yes, one side of this staircase led people from earth back home to heaven and the other side was for those who were moving toward reincarnation. But here's the good news-- they all treat each other the same- no judgment no matter how speckled you are. And another thing I knew that the hand was the hand of God. A loving, kind creator who's only message was that each of us are loved!
As I climbed the stairs I tried to talk to the other people in spirit form but no one would talk back to me. I was so surprised how they joked around with each other. Somehow I thought that we'd become more saintly in heaven, not true. As I reached the top of the stairs I found myself on the second floor on my Aunt Patricia's old house, the one I'd babysat Yolanda and my cousins in. Down the hall, a light was on in Yolanda's room and her bedroom door ajar. As I entered I witnessed my cousin, Yolanda as a child, the age I most remembered her.
There she was playing with toys with another little girl who I was told died 100 years before Yolanda's death. My cousin's big beautiful bright eyes looked up at me. Telepathically she inquired why I was here, in heaven. I answered simply "Your Mom." Just as I said these words, her eyes began to change becoming sterner. Yolanda forewarned me that I shouldn't let her mom cave in to her grief. That Patricia was on earth for a reason, for her own set of lessons.
I then asked about her dad, my uncle and how he was doing causing her eyes to light back up. Yolanda and her father had been so, so close. My cousin responded "Great and that I wouldn't see her back here, in heaven for a long time." As I left, I remember longing to return.
Fast forward to the moment I looked at this cloud and for me, it was reminiscent of God's grandness. Truly he is a giant. Then there's the light and brightness in this photo which reminds me of both Him and heaven. Lastly, I leave you with the knowledge that there is an Almighty creator who's mighty hands are willing to scoop us up in our time of fear and need. So take from this image and story what you will but know that I for one B-E-L-I-E-V-E that in this photo you too are being shown a glimpse of God.
Fiona Finn, author of Raw: One Woman's Journey through Love, Loss, and Cancer. If you follow HIM, follow me on Twitter @fionaburkefinn.