Monday, August 03, 2009

see you at the fair!

Like many folks, my 'image' of heaven has changed over the years.

When I was a kid in Sunday School, it was the pearly gates/golden streets model. At one point, I read Green Pastures with its idea of a fish fry in heaven. Ray Bradbury wrote at least one sci-fi short story where heaven was like going back to your childhood home, with your parents on the porch, all the neighbor kids playing outside in the front yards. I even had a dream when I was in high school that I had died and was standing on the street corner, and the band from The Music Man came marching by, and I was taken by the hand by Robert Preston and took over the lead!

Now? I hope heaven is like a state fair.

Why not?

You would have all the food you could want to eat from roasted corn to fresh vegetables to homemade preserves to barbecued ribs to just churned ice cream to deepfried candy bars!

You could wander through the barns seeing, touching, judging all of God's animals, proudly displayed by young people who spend more time feeding, grooming, loving, tending (even mucking out the stalls) of their charges they have raised from birth, than they do texting their friends. You can even discover some of the 'oddities' of nature, like the snake-woman, the fellow who can dislocate every bone in his body, the sword swallower, the fire-breather.

You get to go on rides that let you touch the bright blue sky, flip you more times than your stomach can count, or whirl you round and round so fast that you know it is pure grace you feel when your feet touch the ground.

And the whole time, you are surrounded by that amazing collection of humanity of every hue, every age, every size, every reminder of that Holy Community which created us (us!) in their image.

Heaven couldn't be any better than that, could it?

(c) 2009 Thom M. Shuman

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