A Pilgrimage of Sorts
Sometimes I allow myself to engage in fantasies of Heaven. I hope it’s not sinful because I myopically imagine the Hereafter in completely human terms, but I suppose that’s precisely what God expects. How egocentrically I picture it all, this wonderful other prepared for my decidedly undeserving reward. Is it even possible that one day God Himself will share a laugh with me at the narrowness of my scope of imagination?
I thought I’d let you take a little peek into the Heaven of my mind, even though I’d take this with a big ole grain of salt if I were you. Other than what glimpses the Bible gives into the ethereal, I’m totally clueless, so understand that all this is idle speculation; but it’s fun to play “I Can Only Imagine” nonetheless.
I figure I’ll be happily ensconced for a few millennia in Heaven’s library. I picture it in grand 19th century style with overstuffed leather wingback chairs and a friendly fire snapping in the grate. The lighting will be from oil lamps, not industrial fluorescence to despoil the mood. Authors and even characters (as real in spirit as the rest of us) converse amicably in the alcoves and I am welcomed into their discussions. Great leaded windows replete with exquisite stained glass scenes from God’s favorite books throw prisms on the stacks while I ride, giddy, on one of those cool wheeled library ladders down the aisle.
I also imagine Heaven as home. This part is where my idea of love and family lives. Visions of mansion after mansion and streets of gold are problematic for me. Sounds like an awful lot of polishing would be going on. Think more like Walton’s Mountain and you’ll get a clearer idea. I imagine the happiness of Thanksgiving Day minus the stress that comes with doing your darnedest to make sure everyone is happy. Here’s where Jesus sits down at the table with us and has a second helping of Granny Porch’s pecan pie. He smacks his lips over my mom’s fried chicken and my great-grandma’s potato salad that I wasn’t old enough to truly appreciate before she went on to be with the Lord. We all chuckle, when, true to form, Mama Opal gets to talking and burns the rolls. And, yes, I imagine porch-sitting and pea-shelling. The men-folk will labor good-naturedly at whatever skills they never “got around to” while swapping stories and whopping each other on the back whenever they think something is funny. The nutty aroma of pipe tobacco mixed with masculinity and a hint of Old Spice will perfume the air as they settle in for evenings by the fire. So far, it still looks like my imagination is stuck somewhere around the turn of the twentieth century. I don’t know why, but I’m having fun thinking of it.
Of course, the great outdoors in Heaven will be expansive…well, boundless, I reckon. I will be able to run and run through glorious vistas. My knee won’t hurt and I’ll have the stamina to trot as long as I wish. The courses will be challenging and have endless outlets for exploration. I don’t mean for this to be sacrilegious at all, but I can envision Jesus in running clothes. Our runs will be where we have our best conversations, that is, when we’re not biking, hiking, or cross-country skiing.
And the animals! I’ve loved an awful lot of pets over my life thus far. Somehow, there’ll be room for all of them…and they’ll all be house-broken and squeaky clean when they get to come inside. T.K., Yellowy, and Grey Ghost, my childhood cats, come immediately to mind. Mr. Buffalo, Dobber Dog, and Sir Spots-a-Lot the Great (Dane) will be at my side.
Like I said, I hope it isn’t sinful to try to imagine Heaven on such a piddling scale. It sure does make a person feel grateful and blessed, though, to let one’s imagination run unchecked for a little while. Where does your imagination take you?