I used to think the hope of heaven was a cop out. I thought it was a way for us to make ourselves feel better about loss we had incurred. I know that as a pastor I probably shouldn’t say that, but it’s true. I think somewhere along the way I bought into the untrue statement that “those who are too heavenly minded are no earthly good.”
What a bunch of garbage.
The only reason I’m of any earthly good these days (if in fact I am), is because of the reality of heaven.
For some reason, even when my mom was really sick for the past year, I avoided the thought of heaven. If you’re like me, we need to be forced to think about our mortality; it’s not something that comes naturally even though dying will be one of the most ‘natural’ things that we do as humans. Now I am forced to think about. I think about it because I miss my mom. I think about because I think about her. I think about it because I want to know she’s okay; that she is happy and (finally) whole.
And now, I don’t think of it as a cop out at all. I think of it as a way of embracing reality!
As I’ve thought about the reality of heaven, I’ve realized I have very little internal resources to draw on. My knowledge of the subject is minimal; absolutely reflective of how much time I’ve spent thinking about it. So I’ve started doing some research. Because I believe the Bible is true, I want to learn more about what it says about heaven, I don’t want to settle for cultural quips and cliches that try to make us feel better. I think that is what I was pushing back against beforehand. I want to know the truth. I want to know what my mom is up to. I want to know if there is a beach for her to search for ‘treasures’ on. I want to know if there is a forest for her to gather pinecones in. I want to know if there is a Diet Coke to quench her thirst. I want to know if there is a bowl of peanut M&M’s that has her name on it. I want to know if she is reconnecting with friends and family that have gone before. I want to know!
I want to know more than I ever have before. I almost need to know. It’s gnawing at me.
Maybe because I miss her.
Maybe because I can’t stop thinking about her.
Maybe because I’d give anything to hear her voice.
Maybe because I need to picture her in her new reality.
One of the things about my mom is that she always wanted to know where we were. She wanted to be able to picture our room, our roommates, our friends… she had to know what we were up to. We never pushed back against that, we wanted her to know.
Now, I want to know. Jesus, what’s heaven like? What’s my mom doing?
Side Note: I just started reading Randy Alcorn’s book, Heaven. I love it.