My daughter was making a picture the other day. It had a shining man in a robe, standing at the end of a path, a fence with a gate off on one side, a tree with flowers on the other side, three rainbows criss-crossing each other across the sky, and other typical things found in nine-year-old girl’s pictures.
“Mommy,” she asked. “Do you know what this is a picture of?”
I didn’t really bother to try to guess… I just said the usual, “It’s pretty, what is it?”
“It’s what I think heaven is like,” she said. She went on to describe it in detail, pointing out each thing.
Then she went back to drawing and coloring, and later came and said, “Look, Mommy. I’m almost done. Can you see what I still have to color?” I pointed out some flowers were still white. “Uh huh,” she said. “I still have to color the curbing, too, though.”
I shoved down a laugh at that. I have never, ever, even once thought that there might be curbing in heaven! (For those of you who don’t live in Florida or some other place where curbing is used in landscaping… it’s colored concrete, laid down in curved ‘curbs’ along the edges of flower beds, between the beds and the grass.) But my daughter, having lived in Florida for most of her life, considers curbing to be a part of every well-landscaped yard… therefore, heaven must have curbing, too!
It got me to thinking, though, about heaven, and different people’s conceptions of it. The Bible has a number of descriptions that we try to take into consideration, but I think most of us do the same thing… we take our favorite, most beautiful parts of the earth, we take out anything that might be considered an imperfection, and we imagine it in heaven. The problem is that our most incredible imaginings still fall far short.
When it comes right down to it, though, it doesn’t really matter, does it? God made it to be perfect. And if there’s anyone who would know how to make something perfect… for everyone all at the same time… it’s God.
What is important is what my daughter mentioned when she was finished with her picture. She was observing her handiwork with satisfaction, for the most part.
“That’s how I think heaven is,” she said to herself, “except the gate. I should have drawn it open. That’s how it always is, you know.”
Out of the mouth of babes…