Posted by Danny
As I was putting Michelle to bed tonight, I asked her, “What do you think heaven is like?”
She said, “I think it is white, with clouds.”
I shared that I’d been reading the book, Heaven is for Real, about a little boy who died during surgery but who was brought back to life by his doctors. I told her that the boy said he actually went to heaven, and that he described it to his parents. “He said it was very colorful.”
Michelle responded, “Well, maybe we all see it differently Dad.” After all, we are talking about God here!
I am a Christian. I was brought up by a Baptist minister. Growing up, I was in church every time the door opened. My grandmother used to tell a story about a time she visited our house when I was about 5. When Sunday morning came, I decided I wanted to stay home with her rather than attend another church service. My father refused to let me cut. As the story goes, I stomped my foot on the ground and said, “Church, church, all I do is church!”
I spent more time in the Baptist church growing up than I spent at school. And as I pulled in B’s at Hillcrest Middle School, I kicked butt in the 6th grade bible drill.
In my home, I was brought up to love and accept others, even those who thought and believed differently from me. But not all Christians were brought up by my parents.
I’ve struggled through the years to balance how I could love and respect those who believe differently from me, and yet, I was taught by some in the church that these same folks are doomed…that there isn’t a way for them to get to heaven.
But tonight, Michelle put some of my most complex thoughts into simple, childlike terms: “Maybe we all see it differently.”
Could it be that God reveals himself in different ways to each of us? For me, faith is a very personal and individual experience.
Perhaps Christ can live in us, even if we don’t identify him with the same language or see him in the exact same way.
I don’t know.
I also don’t know what heaven looks like. And I’m not sure how others define or feel God’s spirit – even those who profess similar beliefs to mine. I only know when I’ve felt His presence.
Maybe I don’t have to understand. It’s my job to love others, as my parents taught me – regardless of their beliefs or their differences. It is my job to live out my faith through my actions, not through my judgements.
And when we get to heaven, maybe we’ll all see things the same.