We will be radiant: heaven as I see it

March 14, 2014 LifeThoughts  No comments

 Ask a hundred people what their idea of heaven is and you will get a hundred different answers. We’ve all heard the idea of paradise, of clouds in the sky, of the pearly gates.

In Supernatural, heaven is described as individual bubbles or dimensions – heaven is what you create it to be. In What Dreams May Come, heaven is this beautiful, colorful, glowing place.

We’ve heard how all “good” people go to heaven. We’ve also heard how only those who believe in Jesus Christ as the savior of mankind get into heaven. But I’m not here to discuss dogma or religion or logistics. That’s another post, another day.

To me, heaven is a place where we all must go. In this heaven, all our suffering and pain disappears. All the evil, ugly, sad things fade away. All our scars and wounds and illnesses are healed.

We become ideal beings – unblemished, whole, effervescent, free from the trappings of our humanity.

We are no longer bound by our insecurities, our weaknesses, our transgressions, our limitations, or our losses.

We are with our loved ones (pets included) and all who have gone before us. All we know is love, kindness, and goodness. We remember not only the happy things, but the bad things too. The difference that heaven makes, though, is that we are not defined or entrapped by those bad things anymore. We have an awareness of them, but are not slaves to them. They are separate from us.

We are able to see our oppressors and look upon them with nothing but compassion and understanding. Forgiveness is not needed because there is nothing to forgive.

You must think I’m crazy. When evil people do bad things they deserve to be punished by burning in the fires of hell for all eternity, right?

Well, evil is subjective. I guess it depends on where you’re coming from – religious? Then yes. There is absolute evil. From a psychological perspective? Then no, evil does not exist in the theological understanding.

Because every action, thought, and belief is reactionary. Who you are and what you do is not independent of your experiences, your biology, your upbringing, the time in history you live, the culture you live in, what you’ve been exposed to, and the people you’ve interacted with.

Every person who has ever hurt me has acted out of a place of their own pain and shame. I know this because every time I have ever hurt someone it has come from a place of my own darkest doubts, pain, and humiliation. Pain comes from a place of misunderstanding, disconnection, shortcoming, faults, and close-mindedness.

This does not excuse the harmful, hurtful things people do. It doesn’t mean that the pain that has been inflicted on you is any less real. It just means there’s more going on than meets the eye.

The bully acts out of his own shame and pain. The sociopathic serial killer kills out of botched neuro-biology and an abusive background. The drug addict seeks relief. The foster kid runs and defends against any meaningful connection out of self-preservation. The wife leaves because all she has known is being left behind.

Even good people do bad, hurtful things. Sometimes without even realizing it or intending it. Sometimes it is intentional.

I have to believe that if you were to reach into your core and pull out that glowing sphere of light that is your soul – that it is good and bright and pure.

It’s just that life happens and gets in the way.

So I’m convinced that, like the late and great J.R.R. Tolkien wrote, death is a journey we all must take. And it will take us to a place that is majestic and breathtaking and out-of-this-world wonderful.

It will be a place where we are free. From pain and tears and heartache. From illness and death and our anxieties. It will be a place where love abounds and our hearts are full to a capacity previously unknown to us here in our earthly vessels.

We will be radiant. We will be undefeated.


And that is where I hope you are, Papa Al.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.20.34 PM

The ships have come to carry you home.

Rest in peace, Papa Al.
See you on the other side.

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