Bunks in Heaven? A Frassy Thought

September 25, 2008 | 7 comments

So I got to thinking about Heaven yesterday when my 4-year-old, Anna, and I went scouting through a cemetery. Again. (See “Floral Delivery” for a post about our previous cemetery trip.)

Anna and I sort of have a thing for cemeteries. We love looking at the gravestones and imagining the lives of the people while they walked the Earth.

I did this as a kid, too. Back then, I would take crayons and paper to the local cemetery and make rubbings of my favorite gravestones. Recreational opportunities in my hometown were slightly limited, so we made our own fun. Of course, my idea of fun was a little … off. Other girls my age liked playing hopscotch and jumprope; I high-tailed it for the graveyard when the backhoe showed up. Couldn’t wait to see what it looked like inside those six-foot-deep holes. I would create personalities for the deceased — especially those who died young or who died, say, in the 19th century. My favorite among the dead was Alice May Waterman. I discovered with one of my rubbings that she died in 1887 or thereabouts. Alice May’s gravestone was shaped like a tree trunk, and I envisioned her to be a long-haired brunette who looked something like Laura Ingalls.

I’m guessing my obsession with the dead had a lot to do with my extreme fear of dying — a peculiar fear for an otherwise well-adjusted 10-year-old. Even at a young age, I tended to think that life ended at the grave — even though my Sunday school teachers told me otherwise and even though I really wanted to believe there was something more.

Those ideas about death became more firmly planted as I grew older and became an atheist, or agnostic or … I don’t know what I was, honestly. Anyhow, I tended to view the grave as the final “resting place.”

I later became a follower of Christ (a story for another day) but even then, Heaven didn’t seem all that appealing, frankly. By my estimation, Heaven would consist of pale, angelic beings playing harps on clouds. An unseen God would boom over the Heavenly Loudspeaker in a deep Charlton Heston voice.

Yawn.

And then I met Michelle, my frassy* friend. She had this zest for the afterlife and God and Heaven. Still does. I was smitten with her. Still am. And I loved talking to her all things Jesus-y. Still do.

Well, one day, Michelle wrote me a letter telling me how much she appreciated our friendship and how she couldn’t wait to spend eternity with me in Heaven.

“We’re going to have bunks right next to each other,” she wrote. “I’ve already put in a request with God, and He said that would be just fine. Do you want the top bunk, or should I take it?”

And that is the moment when God blew the fairy dust off my cloud-covered Heaven.

Suddenly, Heaven was filled with bunk beds, and Caribou coffee, and Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, and prime rib (with horseradish on the side), and my pink camoflauge sleeping bag. Suddenly, I’m seeing myself taking walks on beaches, and having picnics in the parks, and sleeping in late on Saturday mornings. I don’t have a harp — but a choir of rockin’ angels is singing Toby Mac in my ear. Which is a huge relief. Because I’d be a horrible harpist.

The quote on the back cover of a book I have called “Heaven” by Randy Alcorn reads like this: “The next time you hear someone say, ‘We can’t begin to imagine what Heaven will be like,’ you’ll be able to tell them, “I can.”

All right, frassy friends. Your turn. My Heaven a bunk-filled paradise. What’s your like? I’m all ears.

* frassy (fra-see) adj. 1 of or having to do with a type of person who is, at once, both fresh and sassy 2 shorthand for “sassafras” Origin: Michelle H.

by | September 25, 2008 | 7 comments

7 Comments

  1. Chris Godfredsen

    My Heaven looks a lot like that, sans the pink sleeping bag and horseradish. Don’t ruin a good piece of meat with that.

    But more than looking at eternity, my Heaven is right here, right now, with fellow Christ followers sharing their lives with one another, walking side by side with each other – through thick and thin – through good and bad!

    Eternity is an amazing thought, but for so many years I believed it was something waiting for me in death. The good news is that it is here for us right now, each day!

    It is John 10:10 – having life and having it to the full; right here and now.

    Great post, great thoughts. God bless you for continuing to proclaim His name!

    Chris

    Reply
  2. Chris Godfredsen

    My Heaven looks a lot like that, sans the pink sleeping bag and horseradish. Don’t ruin a good piece of meat with that.

    But more than looking at eternity, my Heaven is right here, right now, with fellow Christ followers sharing their lives with one another, walking side by side with each other – through thick and thin – through good and bad!

    Eternity is an amazing thought, but for so many years I believed it was something waiting for me in death. The good news is that it is here for us right now, each day!

    It is John 10:10 – having life and having it to the full; right here and now.

    Great post, great thoughts. God bless you for continuing to proclaim His name!

    Chris

    Reply
  3. Jennifer Dukes Lee

    Thanks Chris! I love that reminder: That our eternity doesn’t begin the day we die; we’re livin’ it! Thanks for your words!

    Reply
  4. caamom

    I didn’t know you had such an obsession with cemetaries:) Our local cemetary is literally in our back yard. It is really nice, with paved pathways and tall evergreen trees. It is a popular spot for walkers in town. We have spent many hours walking and riding bikes through it admiring all the beautiful headstones:)

    Reply
  5. lynnrush

    So, you were intrigued with cemeteries. How interesting…. 🙂

    I was never afraid of them, heck my grandpa used to “keep up” a cemetery…and he used to take me there to learn to drive a car (before I was of age), so I could learn to turn better.

    Don’t worry, I didn’t hit anything.. but now that I think about it, I guess doing that with gramps just made cemeteries less scary…

    I just picture heaven as a bright place and I’m nothing but happy because I’m with Jesus.

    Reply
  6. Serena Woods

    The thing I most look forward to, is being able to understand things are as they are. I can’t wait to see what was happening spiritually during this time, or that time. I want to see if my inklings were right. I want to see how close we really are, and how clear it really is, and how easy it is to miss the little things that are right in front of us.

    I guess, the thing I’m most interested in is the intellectual connections I’m dying to make.

    Reply
  7. superstar70

    Hi Friend…I first see God waiting for me and saying…"come on in…I have a secret for you…"YOU ARE FEARFULLY & WONDERFULLY MADE MY SWEET CHILD…exhale, sit back & relax…YOU ARE HOME!" I see heaven as everything I love so very much & no more pain, sadness or fear…I see peanut m&m's, lots of chocolate, cheeto's, icee's, ice cream, my fleece blankets, my favorite pj's, penquins, puppies galore…did I spell galore right?!?!?!, non-stop PLANET EARTH, no cell phones, no computers, no "have to be to work on time", no bills, sleeping in & staying up late, camping, listening to Jesus tell stories as I sit at his feet & then thanking him personally for all that he did for me, music…all kinds 24/7, miles & miles of beaches, Italy…look over there…I can finally see Italy and last but not least I get to hang with all the peeps in my life that I love so very much…oh and the smile on my face would be genuine & NEVER leave! See you when I get there, Dad, I know you will be waiting…

    Reply

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