Today is a rainy day. When I think about it too hard, I start questioning things like, “will it be rainy in heaven?” I wonder what rain feels like on an October day in paradise, when it’s cold outside, and here on earth it stings your cheeks. I wonder if you think to yourself, “I should’ve put on a more waterproof jacket today,” as you make your way from work to your car. Similarly, I want to know that I can sit inside a coffee shop at night, with the neon sandwich sign hanging above me as I watch the rain and drink with my hands wrapped around the mug. I want to awake in the mornings and watch the sun rise each day, comparing it to the last, as I drive to work.
Last night, I didn’t get enough sleep. I chose to be with people after I finished my homework. I talked, and bought pumpkins, and helped carve some for people who had never done it before. Now, I’m tired. I wonder if when I go to heaven, I’ll sleep. Can I stay up too late at night in heaven praising God, only to be tired the next day from it? Or will the perfection of heaven mitigate my tiredness? When I go home after my meetings, I’m going to take a long nap on a comfy couch. Afterwards, I’m going to feel even better than I would’ve after a restful night’s sleep. Call me selfish, but that’s something I don’t want to miss.
At certain times, I convince myself that the night is young, and I’m young, and both those things won’t stay that way. So I climb something, and get as high on a hill or a bluff as I can, and try to watch the stars and the moon until I doubt my ability to function the next day. When I’m outside, I think the sound that nature creates is beautiful. If I snap a twig in those moments, it sounds like I coughed in a dramatic section of the symphony, and the players will stop to stare. Unsurprisingly enough, those nights were usually the tail ends of some ceremonially bad days. Sometimes life feels heavy, I let someone down, I suffer a loss, or the day was just too… loud. So I let the whispers of the wind in the grass play the background vocals to the crickets on their leg-guitars. And those nights wouldn’t be the same without the days that made them necessary.
God has given us a beautiful, intoxicating gift. So much of the evil in my life can be reconciled by the greater goodness that He gives me. Coffee shops, couch naps, the stars; they all make up for the pain of the earth in their small, additive ways. I don’t doubt God for what he has for us, but I so easily think about the things that are good because of what is bad. We need the bad to understand how good, good is. That’s my fear. Things are SO good that I take it for granted.
The afterlife for a believer is vague. Admittedly, it doesn’t speak much on what it holds for us, and that quickly turns to easy fear for someone who loves knowing the facts. But then again, maybe there aren’t that many facts to have to know. It seems obvious to me that heaven as a structure is too complicated to waste pages in the Bible trying to explain. All we need to know is that it’s great, and it awaits all those who believe.
But I’m not here to make some quip about needing to trust God and what He has planned for us, even past death. Honestly, the idea of heaven is just so hard to un-earth-ify ourselves from. I don’t get it, and we may never get it until we see it. But I’ll keep trying.