We're linking up with Inspire Me Monday; please give them a visit!We're also linked with Messy Marriage's Wedded Wednesday.
I'm also guest-posting on Norma Brumbaugh's blog today.
I have been told that if I thought more about Heaven., I would not fear death.
I don't fear death. I fear the pain that makes an elastic capacity for bearing it strain to its limits. Today I wanted to bang my head against a wall to try to make it go away - by knocking myself out. WHAT WILL TOMORROW BRING????
Earlier this evening (on the day that I write this) I heard the TV preacher Perry Stone talking about a book in which he described what Heaven is like. What we wear, what we eat, what language we speak, and so on.
Surprisingly, I found the subject uninteresting
From the perspective of one who's going to be shaking hands with Jesus sooner rather than later, I don't really care what we eat in Heaven, and even less what we wear.
I have to admit to an uncharitable thought, that it's something formulated by people who have the luxury of contemplating those questions without the Damoclean sword of immediacy.
Whatever experience they have in theology or Biblical exegesis, they're not helping...okay, not helping me. I'm sure many mean well, but (warning...second uncharitable thought) I also suspect that some of them are more concerned with trying to sell books, or DVDs, or tickets to their public appearances.
Sorry if I sound harsh. No, I'm not. These people are completely missing the point.
They are trivializing the process of dying by making it sound like taking a trip to God's Club Med.
The afterlife matters. It is everything.
The whole point of Heaven, when you're dying, is that it's really there, that the promises are true.
The descriptions in Revelation hold little but academic interest for me. It's written in a symbology that held deep meaning for John's contemporaries, but it's largely inaccessible to the modern mind, except in the most general terms.
I seriously doubt that Eternity spent with the Almighty will have the look and feel of the first century AD. If it's Heaven, it'll be adjusted to us, and won't demand that we adjust to it.
"Whoa, Jesus, the cell reception up Here sucks, Man!"
I kind of doubt that.
John's contemporaries could take it as written because they could feel the magic, and see it unfolding. We are privileged to feel the magic, but what we see will be in terms to which we can relate.
It's a bit like taking Jesus as the Lamb of God absolutely literally; no one has said He was a talking baby sheep.
And speaking of which, I'm not worried about the whole sheep vs. goats thing. We're all goats. The only thing that matters now is mercy.
It all boils down to what Jesus said to the dude on the next cross over...
"Today, you'll be with me in Paradise."
Everything else, I'll take as it comes.
Because I while I still want today here, and I sure want tomorrow There.
My thought for a caregiving spouse is simply this - know what your husband or wife thinks, and believes. Please don't try to overwrite their faith with your own. If you take a more literal view that I do (and I do respect that view, and would be as happy as ever if I were proven wrong) and your spouse does not, please...just listen.
And if your dying spouse is the literalist, accept that. Don't try to prove your own point. Doing so can undermine faith. hen you're in extremis, and holding onto hope amidst the pain, it doesn't take much to cause a landslide. And it's terribly hard to get back to where you were.
After all, when we get there, we'll be There.