I apologize for the long time since I last shared. Life has been amazing and wonderful, stressful and frustrating, essentially pretty normal! Working more hours, traveling to my cousin’s wedding (Congratulations Joseph and Emily!), soaking in time with my husband, and preparing for Mongolia have all been taking priority over writing.
Yesterday, I went to the movies with some friends. We watched “Heaven Is For Real .”
There are so many things that came out in this movie that make me think. So many things that made me cry. So many things that open my mind to greatness. If you have seen the movie, please share your thoughts, if you haven’t, I do recommend it.
The hospital scenes brought back so many memories and emotions, it was hard to watch and remember my nephew as the one on the operating table, my sister in ICU, the family gathered around. It also made me stop and think, when the pastor’s family is in crisis, who does the pastor call for support? Does he or she feel comfortable calling a friend or another member of the clergy in the middle of the night to come to the hospital, to pray with them, to offer support? Do I offer enough support that my pastor, or any friend, would be willing to call me and know that I would be there for them? Am I strong enough to be there for them? Am I too selfish or egotistical to be who they need me to be in their moment of crisis? Do I trust God enough to know that He will use me as needed?
Spiritual warfare is not something that is spoken about often in mainline churches of the United States. Was spiritual warfare going on this movie? Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do no hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (recorded in both Matthew 19:14 and Luke 18:16). This is in context of people bringing their children to Christ for blessing and the disciples telling them to go away. In Luke, the passages goes on to say, “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” The movie (and book) shows the trusting faith of a child that was shown extraordinary things – Heaven, Christ, family – and adults that struggled to believe that it was possible. Over and over again, we are told that God is love, Christ has died for our sins and we are redeemed, yet we deny miracles and deny that God can speak to us. Is this spiritual warfare? Do we let evil stop us from believing? Do we allow outside forces to prevent us from accepting amazing things from God? As residents of the USA, do we let society tell us what God is capable of? Do we limit Him?
Another scene from the movie struck myself and some of my friends as well, two individuals were talking. One had a son that survived, one had a son that died. The father with the son that survived asked the following questions to the mother of the son that died (slightly paraphrased). “Do you love your son? Do you believe that I love my son? Do I love my son more than you love yours? Do you believe that God loves my son more than He loves yours?” God’s love is great enough to love everyone. He sent His son not to die just for me or other Christians or good people. Christ died for everyone. It does not matter what your religious leanings, the state of your life, your heart, your sexual orientation, the color of your skin, the size of your portfolio. He died for love, salvation, and grace. His death and resurrection was a gift that we can choose to take or not.
I believe Colton when he says, “No one will ever hurt you there.” That is what Heaven is to me. Heaven is a place where we are with God. Where we are free of pain and judgment. Where love abounds. If only we could have that here as well.
Please share your thoughts and comments. What does Heaven mean to you?