Saturday, February 14, 2015

Trying to See Heaven

A couple of Saturdays ago I had the privilege of spending the morning hours with some folks from our church. Robbie, a developmentally disabled man began to sing Christmas carols as we removed the Christmas decorations. And while it was a bit unusual, revisiting the messages of Hope and Peace in the birth of The King was something we all ought to do a little more often. He had an extensive repertoire of carols and was faultless in  their lyrics, singing out loud and strong. Sometimes I have a difficult time understanding Robbie when he speaks, but he must be terribly accustomed to it -- the minute he senses your confusion, he will spell the word out for clarification. He is in fact, an excellent reader. As we moved into the sanctuary to work, Robbie drew my attention to one of the stained glass windows. "Why did John die?" he asked. The glass, which depicted a scene from the Bible had nothing to do with John or John the Baptist, and for a split second I was befuddled. But just as I opened my mouth to question the origin of his thoughts, I saw the words: "In Memory of John ______." Robbie had already read the text, derived from it that John was no longer with us, and wondered about the cause, before I'd ever even noticed. People like Robbie tend to have such a unique way of seeing things: adult topics as viewed through the eyes of a child. It shouldn't, but it always surprise me. Robbie had spent a good portion of the morning asking questions:

"When is the trip to Linvilla Orchards?"

"When is the family reunion?"

"Are there beds in heaven?"

"Does heaven have jobs available?"

He conversed easily with anyone he could engage. Somewhere along the line his questions got me to thinking. About trips for the Youth this summer. And reunions where past members and friends of the church could enjoy a little agape and hospitality -- the delicious kind -- some Sunday morning. But most of all, about heaven. Robbie had inspired me, and I tried to see things his way. And while it was a less than theological approach I don't think I would be wrong in saying that Heaven will be far more breathtaking and sensational than anything we could imagine. Chiefly because God is there, of course, but when you consider the wonderful things He has gifted us with here on Earth, for it to be Heaven it has got to be even better!

For instance, one of my favorite things is afternoon just as Spring begins to break; lying in a field, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face with the cool of the ground on my back, staring up at the passing clouds, and taking in the sweet smell of fresh green grass coupled with the earthy fragrance of rich, dark topsoil. Or the sunrise in winter -- it's always better in winter -- after a cold, dark night; watching the ice crystals in the atmosphere cast what seem to be hundreds of shades of purples and yellows, oranges and reds across the sprawling sky; clouds rippling as they reflect the colors of the dawning day. Or later that same day: the clear blue sky holding up a big warm sun as chilly breezes move through my hair, nipping my ears, but the sun warms my face and my soul. Or the Autumnal aromas of apples and spices, the sound of leaves rustling in the trees or crunching in my hands; putting on a favorite sweater for the first time since Winter; rolling hill after rolling hill covered with brilliant orange, lustrous gold, and fiery red. Or the simple, crazy laughter of a child; or watching them dance. Or stepping out onto the back steps of Home with a giant mug of freshly brewed coffee and watching stars fall from the sky. Or finding that tiny spot at the top of my husband's neck, just beneath his jawbone which somehow seems to invite my face and snuggles it perfectly; or slipping my fingers between his as we walk alone. A library book. A crossword puzzle. My very own box of dark chocolates. Spending Saturday morning hanging out on Earth with people I will celebrate with later.

And somehow, Heaven will be better than all of this.

For a more theological discussion, see Randy Alcorn's website: , or read his book, Heaven.
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