Friday, August 10, 2012

The Real Heaven...

I just read my daughter Alicia's blog post about Heaven.

Like Alicia, I like to speculate about Heaven.

Old wonderment Joe Beam, a fabulous fast-talking wildly emotional yet conservative Christian minister recently released his second book about Heaven (pretty much a rip-off re-write of an earlier edition he wrote several years ago but I guess he needed the cash) but I am tending to sort of disagree with old Joe this time, much as I hate to do that. His vision of Heaven seems to me to be a really dumbed-down Heaven.  It's just way too attainable... I don't mean getting there... I mean envisioning it.

I don't believe that Heaven is merely a spiffed-up version of what we've got now. I expect that more was compromised when we lost Eden than just perpetual sunshine and good crops. For one thing, Eve didn't think it strange when a serpent spoke to her. That leads me to conclude that the animals were  not initially created to be incommunicado with man.(After all, God DID first seek companionship for Adam among the animals. That tells me they COULD indeed speak; just maybe none could speak with the charming authority of a woman and so, viola, God made a woman.)

If the koala bears and sheep and wiener dogs lost some of their special abilities, it seems possible that maybe we did too. Certainly we lost the right to do some things we were going to be aloud to do. One thing still making me mad is having to wear clothes, especially as I get older and fatter. All the day, I am less happy about wearing underwear for hours and hours at a go. Except for some unfortunate house pets, animals haven't been punished in this way and except for some really unfortunate dogs who have had a lot of puppies over their lives, none of them seem to have to live with this excessive amount of cleavage that I have born now for almost four decades.  It's punishment for what stupid Eve did. I hate that stupid woman. When I meet her, I am rolling my eyes at her and I'm going to encourage all my big-breasted friends to do the same.

I'm just about doggone certain that one of the things God also took away from us was flight. And you know what I think he did with it? He gave it to the dadgum bumble bee.  They say that fat slouch has no scientific business flying. That fat pig is flying around and does nothing with it -- doesn't make honey like a bee should -- instead flies around and will sting you quick if you get in its way. That's OUR flying that bumblebee is doing. I think God thinks that is funny and I think God is mean about it. Those are my wings that fat fuzzy freak is wearing. When we get to Heaven, that fat freak won't have those wings, we will get them as we rightly deserve and the bumble bee will have to slump along on the ground like the little troll it is... okay... we don't deserve the wings either... but Heaven's not about what WE deserve... it's about what Jesus deserves... so I want my freaking fuzzy wings!

The Apostle Paul says the mind can't conceive of what God has prepared for those who love him. In deference to Alicia, I'm all for her little treehouse and I think that's a lovely concept for Heaven (well, for a camping overnight in Heaven, lets get real here). In that regard, I chose an overnight stay place for me too (see funky island castle, left).

But if all Heaven is, is a cleaned-up, sanitized, refreshed, colorized version of what we've already got down here... man, I don't think I'm very excited about it. Joe Beam talks about playing golf -- GOLF! up in Heaven -- in his book... if that's all there is in Heaven...

I want to see my Savior's face! I want to hide away beneath the shadow of our Father's wings and fly through the heaven's, feeling the terror and glory of his holy presence. I want to feel the lightning pass over this magnificent creation and begin to have an understanding of the depths of His mind. I want to grasp what love really is; what grace is. I want to see with eyes that aren't polluted by sin and suffering and with a clear mind not tormented or haunted with sadness, disappointments and failings from the past.To have no memory of loss or sadness, no concept of it. I want to live in a sacred place, a holy place, free from shame, sin and depravity. I want to be clean and free and in complete safety. I want to trust fully. To see and hear and feel and touch and smell and taste completely and perfectly. To experience life without fatigue, without the physical burden of pain.I want to know and be known and understand and be understood. To laugh without a sense of bitter-sweetness. To feel all of living without a bleakness, an anxiety, a worry, a fear, a torment, a sadness, a regret, a sense of loss, a shame, a self-consciousness, an ache, a pain, a grief, a mourning... To feel joy and love and acceptance without restraint or limit. 

I don't know what Heaven will look like and I don't know what we'll do. Of course, I can't wait to see my brother -- he's been gone so very very long now -- my grandma and grandpa. Other family members who have passed on, David's father, his grandparents... sweetest of friends like Donalie and Pat... we miss them all and wait in expectation for our reunion. But that reunion will come soon enough weather in fifty minutes or fifty years for all this life is fleeting.

It's a lovely evening. It's cooler than it's been in a million days. Blessings to all and may you dream of Heaven. 

And to you, Alicia, as you dream of Heaven... I can't wait to see you there among all our long-lost pets we've loved: Comet, Snickers, Butter-cats (of every second syllable), Jagger, Frannie Rose... the list is long (and I still think including Frannie Rose on that list is iffy). Thank you for your thought-provoking post. And, by the way, I DO NOT want some shabby treehouse up there... I kinda got that down here... I told you about the trees growing over the house again you know!  Love, your mom.

However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him— Paul, I Corinthians 2:9