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what's your vision of Heaven?


What do you think Heaven is like? Atheists need not answer.

I ask because I'm always curious what other people envision and I saw that "medium" guy on Oprah a couple days ago for a few minutes. I think his name is John Edwards. Anyway, he said he has asked the spirits what it's like on the other side and they just tell him they want their questions answered. He says their need for closure is greater than his need for answers.

Hmm, that sounds like a huge cop out to me. I don't believe this guy is legit. He just seems like a fast-talking sheister to me. Oprah didn't challenge him, she just said, "yeah, it's like the internet. Where does your e-mail go after you click send. It sounds like the 'other side' is like the internet." Yeah, whatever Oprah.

Long ago, in a land far, far away I was a reporter for a local newspaper. Across the hall, at the in-house print shop, there worked a man in his 60s who was a jerk. I can't remember what his job was, but he had a Napoleon Complex and was a yappy little thing. No one really liked him. One of the gee whiz facts about him was this: he actually had a heart attack on the tennis court and died for a couple of minutes then they brought him back to life.

I asked him what that was like -- dying for a couple of minutes then coming back. I was expecting an elaborate tale of white lights and other-worldly visions. His answer was appropriate for his personality. He said it just faded to black. Nothing. There was nothing there and then he was waking up back on the tennis court.

That answer has not swayed my own belief. I believe in Heaven and Hell. But I think Hell is the absence of God. I think it's kind of a nomadic existence without happiness. I don't think there are fires and pitch forks. But I do believe there is temptation everywhere you look. So I suppose I think The Devil is temptation and things that sway you from your belief in God and living a faithful life.

Now on to Heaven. It's still kind of vague when I try to come up with a picture. I think our personalities, the qualities that make us unique, are our souls. That's what I think moves on to Heaven. The body is a unique "carrying case" if you will, that helps others identify who we are here on earth, but in Heaven it's all about the soul, baby.

But how are we going to be able to "identify" the people we knew in Heaven? I used to think it was sort of like a class reunion and as you're checking in you would notice your Kindergarten teacher and wave - Hi Mrs. Whyman! Somehow we would look like we do here on earth, even though we are sans a body. I also thought you would get the answers to all of your questions like: did OJ Simpson really kill Ron and Nicole? How did Marilyn Monroe die? That kind of stuff.

Now I imagine it is an existence of bliss that our minds cannot comprehend. That we are all together and our insecurities are gone. It's not like going into the lunch room with a full tray of food in your hands, eyes frantically scanning the crowd for someone you know. It's a sense of togetherness, unity and love that our earthly minds cannot understand.

I think all of our silly questions like did John Schweitzer have a crush on me in seventh grade become irrelevant.

I'm still not sure what our clothes and our living rooms look like up there. But I bet they're rad.


2007-02-23 at 5:58 a.m.

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