A Little Piece of Heaven
When I was a kid my picture of Heaven looked like something out of that song about the Candy Man. You know the one where someone is basically singing about Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory? Trees with lollipops? Heaven for a kid don't ya think?
As I got a little older and read the Bible for myself, my image morphed into the whole mansion in the sky, streets of gold, and angels with harps kind of place. I had numerous conversations with God about how He just had to let me paint a sunset when I got there. That would be Heaven, painting the sky with colors I can't even imagine.
Somewhere in my young adulthood, someone told me that Heaven would actually be a place where we praised God all the time. Hmm...compared to the golden streets with the trees I could eat, that image didn't sit well with me. I mean, that would be kind of boring and repetitive right? I'm ashamed but honest enough to say that that picture of Heaven wasn't even slightly appealing to me.
Let me step to the side so when the lightening strikes, it won't hit you.
Lately though, I have had brief moments of Heavenly experience. I guess they would be categorized as mystical experiences but I hesitate to call them that because those seem to be reserved for saints and, um, well...you read my blog. Regardless of those facts, they have been real, physical experiences of Heaven. They weren't visions of Heaven or thoughts about it, I was transported there. I realize full well that this may make me sound totally crazy and alienate every reader I've ever had, but all I can do is tell you that it happened...to me.
Tonight I had one of those moments. I was at our weekly prayer meeting, standing and singing a praise song. The song followed a period of about thirty minutes of silent contemplation, which let's face it, when you have small kids, this in and of itself is quite Heavenly (When we have the Quiet Prayer Meetings, the kids have their own gathering in a separate room so nobody needed me in that moment). We had been meditating on the joy that God can bring to us. And, just like God, He delivered and the praise was especially joyful.
The music began to crescendo and the people around me sang a little louder. Then it happened. I was there in Heaven surrounded by a host of saints praising God. And get this, the feeling it brought me was not boredom at all. What I felt was pure joy. An uncontrollable smile crept across my face and I knew I was in the presence of God. And honestly, smiling and being swept up in that extraordinary moment, I thought if this is what Heaven is like I think I'm going to like it just fine.
It was a matter of seconds. It was transforming. Then it was over just as quickly as it started. I'm not going to even try to guess what it all means. I'm not going to ponder why it happened. I can't explain any of that. What I do know is that it happened. It was a gift. And, God meant it for me.
How can you not love a God who gives you gifts like that? How can you not marvel at someone so great taking time to bless someone so insignificant? How can you not live your whole life trying to show that same God how much you love Him?
I think God gives gifts like this to keep hope alive. He offers us the carrot we need to keep moving forward. He reminds us that He put us here for a reason and that He loves us more that we can ever imagine.
Seriously, how can you not love a God who does that?