Chairs in Heaven

Saturday, January 21, 2017

"Are there chairs in heaven?" he asked me, curious and hopeful.
"I don't know, buddy. Maybe. I mean I guess so?" my voice trailed off.
"Hmm. Ok. Because I'm going to need a chair when I see John Mark. Because, you know, he's a baby and you're supposed to sit down when you hold a baby," he replied.

For the past two months, I've been grilled about heaven. Where is it? What's it like? How do we get there? When is Jesus going to come fix everything? What are our bodies going to be like? When will we die? And why did John Mark die when he was too little? Is the cemetery full of babies like our baby? Why did Jesus have to die? Is John Mark's little box ok, even though its close to the hot lava under the surface of the earth? Why can't God bring him back to us? Can we pray for God to send him back to us? Can we take a helicopter up to heaven and get him back from God?

In their questioning and wondering, they haven't expressed anger at God. They are curious, but they expect that I have the answers for them. Even when I try to explain things in a way I think they'll understand, it doesn't always connect. They peer up at me with a puzzled look, shrug their shoulders and say, "okay, mama."

I've often woken to a little face in front of mine, a little voice, "I miss John Mark. I feel sad. Can we have breakfast now?" They have this amazing capacity to do such contradictory things all at the same time. To giggle and build legos together, then pause for such a short moment to comment that they're sad that John Mark doesn't get to build legos with them. They have a profound sense that something is missing, and they aren't afraid to acknowledge it.

Today Moses and I had a date together, he wanted to go to the ice cream shop by the zoo. During our drive he looked out the window and up at the sky.
"Hmm," he said, "I think maybe I see Jesus in the clouds"
"I don't think so, not today." I answered.
"But, maybe he's hiding up there. Maybe he's coming down."
"Well, the Bible says its going to be a big deal when He comes back. I think we're going to know for sure when it happens."
"Oh. Okay. Just like when he was all glittery when the guy who ate bugs dipped in honey dunked him in the river?"
"Maybe so. I bet it will be super bright like that."
"Yeah! What kind of ice cream are you going to get, Mama?"

And so for today, this is how we live. We remember the baby our hearts still love so deeply. We eat ice cream on blustery, cold days. We wrestle with hard questions while we build towers from blocks. And we look for the light in the sky, waiting for heaven to come. Waiting to see what kind of chairs God furnishes his kingdom with.

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