I imagine my grandmother as one of the faces of heaven. I can see her in my mind's eye. Her bright eyes and lovely smile. She is covered in light. For some reason she is offering me something to eat ... her cookies or her famous chicken and rice.
Why don't we talk about heaven more often? Maybe it's because we are too busy talking about the ills of this world. The traffic, increasing costs of living, natural disasters, complaints about your job, concerns about family. We should talk about these things, but some time focused upwards, contemplating heaven, could make some of these burdens down here on earth easier to bear.
It came down last week. Heaven touched earth. I felt it. The load I was carrying got lighter. I felt a little stronger and the weight of life was gone. I had energy. I enjoyed interactions with students and colleagues. I laughed a lot at home with my children. I was able to love and be loved. Life was a pleasure.
Then that ugly thing called sin crept in. I didn't repent immediately. In fact, I got angry. I knew I was pushing God away but I did it anyway.
Heaven came down again and touched me. The weight of sin lifted as I lifted my hands to heaven and expressed myself to God. It's amazing how much God loves us and pursues us.
Heaven is for real. I can almost feel its breath on my face as I write these words.
Upstairs, in heaven, sin will be a memory. Pain will be gone. Envy won't exist. Hurts and worries will be a thing of the past. Our earthly hearts that have begged to be seen, loved, known will know that our souls have stretched towards toward our forever-inheritance.
I like to imagine putting my hand to the heart of Jesus and feeling the rhythm. His breath on my back and shoulders.
I imagine physical things as well. Laying in a hammock. Running barefoot in the snow feeling fully alive. Spinning through fields of Queen Anne's lace. Swimming in a river of warm, clear water. Riding on the back of the Lion. Feeding a giraffe. Painting my house purple. Not looking the door. Walking on water, through sand, and no one complaining about dirty feet in the throne room.
Think about it. Reach for it. Know it is real. Heaven.