Saturday, April 21, 2007

Hobbits in Heaven?

It is too cold to eat in the sunroom this morning so we crowd around the table in the kitchen. Between bites of french toast the conversation turns to heaven.

We start with the practical.

"In heaven I won't have to take medicine." John lines up all his vitamins and prepares to gulp them down with a large glass of orange juice.

I pull my hands into my sweatshirt, "I won't be cold in heaven."

"I won't be hot!" says Lauren. She has on her pajama bottoms and a spaghetti strap top.

John announces, "I'll be very good at the math that I won't have to do!"

Lauren, who is currently struggling with percents, runs with this idea, "There will be no percents!"

"...and no spanks!" The two little ones solemnly nod their heads at Faith's pronouncement.

She continues, "I'll be able to fast forward the sermons." Much laughter ensues. Sermons have left a little to be desired recently.

We hover around the fanciful. The volume gets louder with each idea that is tossed out.

"Mama! There will be real fairies in heaven!" Faith's eyes widen as she says this.

John rolls his eyes, "Yawn!"

The conversation switches to the Lord of the Rings as it often does and settles there.

"Who would you like to meet in heaven?"

John dips a bite of french toast into a puddle of syrup. "JRR Tolkien...and CS Lewis and Colin Hardie."

"Colin who?"

"Colin Hardie. He was Tolkien's friend. Tolkien will have a huge mansion. He will have dozens of armchairs. His friends will sit in them and discuss folklore of Middle Earth. I will sit in one of the chairs."

Claire leans forward. "The people of Middle Earth will be real."

Faith begins to think about the hobbits. "In heaven Hobbits might not have hairy feet. They might even wear shoes!"

John is indignant. "Hobbits like their hairy feet and they don't like shoes!"

He continues to think about the idea of many mansions. "My mansion will have billions of books. I will have a portal to be able to go into any book that I want."

Revelation 21 and 22 give us a more accurate glimpse. They are two of our favorite chapters in the Bible. We know that there will be no more night, there really will be pearly gates...twelve of them with giant pearls...and that the tree of life will bloom eternally. There will be no sin or suffering. We will see Jesus face to face.

John sighs. "I'm only ten percent of the maximum age that I can possibly live. Heaven will be awesome! I can't wait to get there!"

We transcend the ordinary for a moment around our kitchen table. We are reminded that we are not home yet. Heaven awaits and it is awesome. Oh, to live each day with that longing and perspective.

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