The idea of Heaven blows my mind. It makes my brain hurt if I think about it too much. I can’t figure it out and I hate when I can’t figure things out. This is why I struggle through Sherlock. I can’t understand a thing that Mr. Cumberbatch says. I need subtitles y’all.
My lack of Heaven insight has never stopped me from trying to decipher how the after-life will function. I’ve always figured I will still get to be me in Heaven. I assume I will still be sarcastic and fail to take most anything seriously. If this is the case, if my personality remains fully intact, meeting Jesus is gonna be kind of chaotic.
I don’t handle celebrity sightings well. A couple of years ago, I watched Nathan Willet (lead singer of Cold War Kids) order french fries at a bar. My husband urged me to go speak to him, but I couldn’t get my legs to cooperate. If I did speak to him, what would I say? “I see you got the french fries…good choice.” Or maybe, “Your face is nowhere near as beautiful as your face.” No matter what words I would have spewed out, he would have considered me crazy. You see, my eyes get big and wide with excitement when I encounter famous individuals. Excited eyes that never blink can get you mistaken for Charles Manson. Picture me in Heaven, wide-eyed like a chihuahua, standing in front of Jesus, speechless and nodding at nothing. Smooth, Stefanie.
It isn’t just meeting Jesus face-to-face that I fret over. I also try to envision what we will do all day.
Will our weightless bodies soar over to church? Will we church all day and then church some more? Heaven Church will never feel long. I will never have to pee mid-sermon. I won’t get distracted in Heaven Church. I will probably get to eat fried chicken during worship in Heaven Church. Heaven Church won’t have uncomfortable seating. Rather, I picture it being like a big outdoor concert. We will all lie on a big grassy knoll. There will be ample sunshine and cool breezes.
I have the tendency to over-imagine things in my life. It is not solely limited to Heaven. I have done it with many things. We went to Paris for my brother’s wedding. In all my day dreaming prior to leaving the states, I never planned on it snowing the entire time we were there. But it did, and it was still amazing. I often picture grocery shopping with two children being quiet and jovial. It never is, at least not at the same time. I pictured our kitchen renovation going smoothly and being complete within a month. No. HGTV lies about those things. Easy renovations are false.
Over the weekend, we went to watch some friends participate in the Ferguson Twilight Run. We weren’t willing to run it ourselves, but we were willing to give support. Afterwards, sweet friends invited us back to their home for a late dinner. They opened their home at an hour that I would normally shut everyone out. On the way over, I began thinking it was a bad idea. In my head, I pictured me nodding off over a plate of barbeque. I couldn’t imagine having fun when the sun had been down for so long. Sleep is precious at my old age. I expected to make an early exit. I expected to be exhausted from watching all of those people run.
That night I laughed so hard, I cried. I learned of near-death experiences in wave pools. I was puked on by a three-month-old. I learned how to cheat in a marathon. I was scolded for trying to get up and get my own bratwurst. Never once did I nod off or even grow tired. Not one single yawn escaped. At that table, surrounded by the deep belly laughs of friends and a plate full of Red Hot Riplets, I was given a glimpse of Heaven.
I don’t expect chips or childhood stories up there, but I do expect my heart to be that full. There may not be bratwurst to eat or 5ks to be run, but I think we will break bread together and laugh until we cry. Good tears. Always good tears.