Today, a friend said to me, “I notice in Cemetery Tours, you fall short of describing what Heaven is like. Have you ever written down what it might be like?” And I realized, no, I haven’t.
Have I thought about it? Of course. I think that anyone who has ever lost someone close to them has wondered where they are. Or perhaps wondered where, as mortal beings, we’re all going after we die. I know some believe that there is no after. We die, that’s it. We cease to exist. But I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that. If that’s the case, then what’s the point of anything?
Seriously, have you ever thought about how the human body works? Heck, how life itself works? The fact that our bodies work at all is a miracle. Life is too brilliantly designed to end with death.
That leads me to my idea of Heaven. I’m not sure I can tell you what I think it will look like or how you get there. I’ve read multiple accounts of Near Death Experiences, including 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper and Proof of Heaven by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon. I notice that with all of these accounts, however, the description of Heaven itself isn’t as visual as it is experienced. Instead of a physical description, all these authors describe a feeling of warmth, love, and exceptional joy and happiness. They know that they are in the presence of their loved ones who had gone before them and in the presence of God. It’s a very comforting thought.
Whenever I personally think about Heaven, I think first about the people (and animals) I will get to see. I’ll get to see my Mimi again. I’ll get to finally meet my grandfather, Jack, for whom I am named. I’ll get to hold all my kitties again. I’ll get to ask all the questions that I’ve carried with me throughout my life. I’m really hoping I’ll get to meet Shakespeare and John Lennon and Steve Irwin and Walt Disney. I’ll probably be just as much of a fangirl in Heaven as I am here on Earth.
As for what Heaven looks like, I’ve always kind of had the idea that it will look like Earth as it was intended at the dawn of Creation. Perfect nature: crystal blue oceans, towering mountains, vast, endless forests. When I was in college, I took a philosophy class. For the life of me, I can’t remember who the philosopher was, but he said something along the lines of how he felt closer to God amidst the trees and nature. Nature is a tabernacle hand-crafted by God. It’s His own temple. That really resonated with me, so I imagine that, just as we are crafted in His own image, our Earth was crafted in Heaven’s image.
As for the experience, I imagine Heaven will be awesome. I fully intend to swim with killer whales all day long without having to take a breath. I imagine I’ll be able to run freely as fast as I can without having to worry about time or place. I’m really hoping I’ll be able to fly, or at least glide from one place to another. I’ve always been told that Heaven is a place of perfect happiness. That leads me to believe that Heaven will be what we want it to be. It also means that there will be animals. I’ve been told far too many times in my life that Heaven is not a place for animals. I can’t even begin to fathom a place of eternal happiness without them. They’re God’s creatures, and the only ones who exhibit unconditional love. How could they not be welcomed into Paradise?
So, there you have it. My idea of Heaven. I’m very happy here on Earth and I hope I get to stay here for a while, at least another fifty or sixty years, but I do believe that Heaven is waiting, and that it’s going to be amazing.
Great post! I sure hope my animals are there too. And they can speak English. I’ll never believe anyone who says they don’t have souls.
Though the philosophy of heaven gives me trouble. If everything is endless perfection, wouldn’t some degree of pain or sadness be necessary for perspective? And would everyone get along if they were in heaven together, or would old animosities remain? I’d like to think such things wouldn’t matter.
I’m not sure. I always thought a place of perfect happiness might get boring after a while, but I don’t think that will be the case. I think it will be wonderful.
I love this post! I, too, have been told there will be no animals. I just can’t believe that. I am quite happy here as well, but will be ecstatic to be there and see everyone i love . thanks Jackie!
Of course, Paula! I couldn’t have perfect happiness without my animals! ❤
I’ve never given it too much thought outside of fiction of course, as there ARE tangible elements of “heaven” in the Soul series, but the idea that it could be a perfect version of Earth, the way God originally intended it to be, is utterly calming and beautiful to me.
I don’t know which philosopher said it, either, but I know I learned the idea of nature bringing one closer to God (or oneself) was something I learned from reading Henry David Thoreau.
I’ve always felt like there was something more hidden in the trees and in the grass and in the sea and in the mountains and in the sky, all these wonders of the world, and if I think of it this way, I guess I can see why…
Long comment was long. :]
Haha, that’s okay! I agree with you in the trees and grass and nature! 🙂
I still find comfort whenever I go back and read your thoughts on this 🙂