All in good humor here, but I’ve now read several posts demanding to know what heaven is like, two actually from Violet, my atheist blogging buddy. It’s a good question, but one that gets people into all sorts of trouble trying to answer properly.
Heaven is an idea far too big for us to wrap our little brains around, we have nothing to really relate it too, we cannot make those neuronal connections, and our language completely eludes us. Language is so limited. There are things we have never seen, there is a nature of being we know nothing of. There are whole concepts at play that are so much bigger than us. Heaven defies even our own imaginations.
Once when I was a little girl, I heard heaven was like being an angel on a cloud playing harp music all day. I immediately took this to God and informed Him I simply wasn’t going. It sounded like eternal torment to me, endless boredom. And God said “why do you trust Me with your life, but not your afterlife?”
I’ve never been able to out reason those words and they have stuck with me all my life. Not long ago, I was in a discussion with some people about how all dogs go to heaven, when someone piped up and said, “well, if heaven isn’t good enough for my dog, then heaven isn’t good enough for me!” As gently as I could I tried to point out that when we say things like that, what we’re really saying is that we don’t trust God to know what’s best for us and we believe ourselves to be worthy to sit in judgment of Him. Why would you trust God with your life, but not your afterlife?
Not long after that the Pope came out and declared all dogs go to heaven. Well, far be it for me to argue with the Pope, I’m just saying, why do we grieve ourselves with such sentimentality and mundane details? Do we not trust God to get it right?
God loves us enough to have died for us. He knows us better then we know our own selves. He knows what is best for us long term. He knows how we feel about our pets. He knows how insane we would go sitting on a cloud all day. If we’re going to trust God with our very lives, then we should probably trust Him with our after lives, too. And the after lives of those we have loved.
Such however, is NOT the nature of human beings. We want boarding passes, to know where the gate is, what kind of peanuts they serve on the plane, and who will be waiting for us when we get off. We’re going to need a Heaven AP on our I-phones that plots out every detail so we know exactly what to expect. Restrooms?? There better be restrooms! Also, where’s the complaint department in case I don’t get my needs met?
It would be downright hilarious if it wasn’t so true.
Those who have gotten close to God speak of the smell of fresh baked bread and cut grass, of colors they have never seen before, of a brilliant light they cannot describe, of a love so great they feel as if it were something they had been seeking their whole lives but never knew how much they longed for it. They speak of beautiful music and a wordless language being spoken that they do not understand and of the joys of being welcomed home after a long journey.
They also speak of how they cannot truly speak of such things, of how they now know things inside of themselves that they simply cannot describe properly with words. Some try to paint and write music, others try to sketch and dance, some write stories. The inability to properly translate Divine experiences into human language is something that has plagued mankind forever.
There are many bits of scripture that offer us some wisdom should anyone be interested, but one I like is to be found in 1 Corinthians 2:9,
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
And that is good enough for me, no that is better than good enough, because who is more qualified to know what we desire, what we need, than the One who made us?