Saturday, April 16, 2011

What is heaven?

Heaven is something many people think about. But what is it? The Bible has many different images of heaven - and so does each person. There may be as many different images of heaven as there are people. After our post on hell a few days ago, it seemed appropriate to explore some images of heaven. Two quotes come immediately to mind.

The first quote is from singer Belinda Carlisle: "They say in heaven love comes first / We'll make heaven a place on earth / Oh heaven is a place on earth." Yes, it's a cheesy 80s pop song. But it also makes the point that heaven isn't just a place beyond this life. Heaven can be experienced in the here-and-now of our daily lives. Heaven can be entered when we're at home, driving our car, or working in the garden. If there is love, there is heaven.

Kate Braestrup makes a similar point in her book, Here If You Need Me: "If you are completely and wholly in love, then you are in heaven no matter where you are. If you are not in love, you are in hell, no matter where you are. The stories we tell of heaven and hell are not about how we die, but about how we live." Our lives can be a living hell - or a living heaven. It's our choice. If we live in a way that opens us up to love, then we can experience heaven no matter who we are, where we are, or what we are doing. Here is a few images of heaven in daily life.

Heaven is love.
Heaven is the smell of a newborn baby.
Heaven is listening to a friend sing a song.
Heaven is a happy, supportive marriage.
Heaven is finishing a big project for someone else.
Heaven is inclusivity.
Heaven is a random act of kindness.
Heaven is a walk through the woods.
Heaven is a hug after a long day.
Heaven is being recognized for your talents.
Heaven is laughing with friends.
Heaven is justice for all people.
Heaven is a random act of kindness.
Heaven is equal pay for equal work.
Heaven is mindfulness of the present moment.
Heaven is mutuality between people.
Heaven is taking time to notice the beauty of flowers and stars.
Heaven is peace in homes, neighborhoods, and nations.
Heaven is adequate maternity and paternity leave.
Heaven is the thought of God inviting everyone into heaven.

Since the post about hell ended with an 80s music video, it seemed appropriate to end this post about heaven with an equally nostalgic song. Here is Belinda Carlisle, singing "Heaven is a Place on Earth."

1 comment:

  1. I will have to go back to catch the previous post about hell... I have personally imagine heaven being within all of our reach if we but opened our minds to the possiblity...

    Like the new name of your blog and wishing all the best!