Here’s an exercise in creative thinking: what will God have for you to see when you get to heaven? Over the years I’ve thought of things I’d like to see – places to which I’d have love to have traveled, interesting times gone by, and, especially, loved ones when they were little. I’d like to meet people I’ve never met: my Cherokee great-great-grandmother, my husband’s Dad and grandmother; and some folks I only dimly remember from my childhood.
I’d like to see and follow my Mom when she was around ten or twelve. I see her, and two of my aunts, in some of the school group pictures I’ve kept. My Mom is the feisty one in the pictures. In one, she and some of the girls are seated on chairs in the front row. Only my Mother has her elbows resting on the back of the chair, looking right at you with a “oh really, so what!” attitude. My aunts are all coiffed and curled, My Mom’s hair is in what she called “a boyish bob.” I’d like to know that kid.
God is going to have pictures for me of my husband as a little boy. His father was then Captain on a tug boat in New York City’s Erie Basin. Before he went to school, and as his Dad said, “forgot everything you’ve ever learned,” he often went to work with his Dad; not every day, but often enough to know all the signal flags and horns and lights. He kept himself safely tethered to the boat, and even had his own set of foul-weather gear made of that old, sticky rubber stuff.
The cook made sure he ate, and sometimes gave him a treat of “boat pudding”, which was bread, sugar, and milk with some coffee for flavor. He tells tales of hardhat divers bringing up star fish and other treasures from the bottom, and of passing fishermen sending over some of their catch. He remembers returning in the fog, listening for the echo of the boat’s horn, and being told to keep an eye out because he had “younger eyes.” He must have been very good on the boat; otherwise he’d never have been there as regularly as he was. Oh, yes! God will have pictures of that for me.
There are few historical events at which I’d like to have been present or have presented in the hereafter for me, especially knowing what I know now, and having seen so many reenactments, accurate or not, on television. Whenever I think of these occasions, Lincoln at Gettysburg always comes to mind first and I don’t get far beyond that. It astounds me that the main speaker spoke for two hours and Lincoln, so memorably, for just over two minutes, the crowd hardly hearing him at all.
More than seeing a single event, I’d like to see how things were made. It may seem strange, but rather than seeing these things as they are today, I’d like to see the building, the sculpting of the Buddhas of Bamyian in Afghanistan, the Forbidden City in Beijing, the Taj Mahal, the pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, the Nazca lines, and many of the other wonders in our world. I’d like to know about Atlantis: did it exist once? Did it relate to Noah and the flood? Was Ezekiel’s wheel really an alien space ship? I’d like to see Moses receive the Ten Commandments. Was the parting of the Red Sea a natural phenomenon? God’s going to have a big Show-and-Tell for me.
What will be on your play list?