Words of Hope: Heaven
I can’t fully express my gratitude for having such a fantastic Dad. He was incredible with people, and he always had time for me—how did he do this? I never felt jealous of all the people in his life; I felt grateful that he was my Dad. Dad made me feel listened to, heard, seen, valued, loved, and such a huge part of his world. His loss is all the more profound because he was such an integral part of our lives daily. I am surprised by how deeply I miss him. I knew I would feel sad, but this is a hard journey.
Scripture says, “Death, where is thy sting?” I couldn’t imagine life without the hope of resurrection. Perhaps this is why Jesus wept, the tremendous desolating grief of contemplating life without this blessed hope. It’s truly untenable in many ways. I have never been attracted to the notion we die, and that is it. I find it a hopeless and loveless belief system. I love the belief system of Christianity—it is so incredibly beautiful and meaningful. God as love, calling us in love to a relationship of love with Him and with others forever. I wish I could have spoken with Voltaire. His book Candide profoundly affected me as a high school student. His image of heaven as a boring, anti-utopia of docile, lifeless time with God for eternity strikes me as a type of hell—who would want eternal life if this is the experience? I would love to take Voltaire to dinner with Dad and have a meaningful conversation about the true nature of God, heaven, and love. The images of stagnant, lifeless heaven are only a result of a diminished understanding of love. If Voltaire could have met my Dad, I think he would have understood what I know about heaven—a place to be with my Dad, with God, and everyone we love forever—truly heaven, amazing, alive, and beautiful beyond description.
“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”[a] for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelations 21:1-4