I listened to two songs today, one after the other, both about heaven. In the first, heaven was a thunderous place, full of exultantly singing angels. In the second, it was the face of a little girl, the singer’s daughter who was killed when she was very small, and an expressed anticipation of seeing her again. It got me to thinking: how many versions of heaven do we hold in our heads, and how can they all possibly co-exist in one place?
I have to confess, the images of sparkling gold, perpetual singing, and the absence of marriage don’t really float my boat. But it works for some. I remember my boyfriend at the time telling me (probably to get a reaction) that there wouldn’t be any sea in heaven. Now I know that, surrounded by sea on an island, it’s understandable that John dreamed of a water-less heaven, but how could something so majestic not be there?
Again, that’s my own take on it. I also like the idea of green pastures and still waters, when most of the time in this fatigue-fillled, relentlessly busy, noisy life I just long for a proper, quiet rest. I also have this picture in my head of running towards Jesus with legs that don’t shake or buckle beneath me. I wonder too if my people-watching tendencies will be condoned, as I long to see my twin cousins re-united, and spend time with the grandfather I never met, amongst many, many other things.
All of these confused anxieties are made a nonsense of when I remember that heaven is the place where our never-ending, expectation-confounding, loving Father dwells. If that God can hold three beings in one, and create a kaleidoscope of people, all snowflakes, all unique, I think He has it all in hand, don’t you?