Saturday, April 26, 2014

Heaven Is For Real, Really.

Faith is a grand cathedral, with divinely pictured windows- standing without, you can see no glory, nor can imagine any, but standing within, every light reveals a harmony of unspeakable splendors.
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

I really want to go see Heaven Is For Real, but I won’t. I won’t read the book either. Here’s why.

On Easter Sunday when my daughter found her basket, she sheepishly told us, “these roller skates didn’t come from the Easter Bunny, they came from your closet. I saw them in there.”

Oh, the mom guilt. Why hadn’t I hid them better? She just smiled sweetly and nodded as we all gave her elaborate explanations about how Easter Bunny doesn’t have the staff of Santa and he needs to drop things off in advance because he works alone, etc. etc.

This past thursday after Easter, she was coloring on the sidewalk and wanted to explain her pictures. She pointed to a red dot and explained that it was the magic blood from the tree of life. Then she pointed to colorful circles and explained how once four people died and they were brought to the tree and then they became little circles of light. Then she pointed to a big circle filled with every color in her chalk collection and said the circles became part of one circle and when God’s son died they all got to come back to earth and be human again.

I smiled sweetly and nodded as I fiddled with the sprinklers and pulled weeds in the yard. I was only half listening, figuring this was just her take on the story of Easter taught at church.

Later that night, as we ate our sandwiches alone in the kitchen, I asked her where she heard the story about the tree. “Nowhere. I just knew it.” Then she sighed and said in a slightly frustrated voice, “Am I going to have to explain it to you again? Write it down this time.”

So I did.

She said, “The tree is still alive too. It can’t be cut down. You can go there, but it’s at the edge of the world and it would take like a hundred years or something to get there. We probably don’t have the time. But it’s real. It’s really real.”

This isn’t the first time she has shared some pretty profound “stories.” Dozens, in fact. A few months ago she woke up around 4 a.m. and yelled for me to come in her room. She wanted me to see the angel over her bed. She described blue circles of light that just sort of merged into the shape of a person, but it wasn’t a person, it was pure blue light. I referred to the angel as a she and was corrected. My 5-year old couldn’t tell if it was a she or he, but it had short hair with curls on top and it perched on the chandelier above her bed.

When I was tucking her in this past Thursday night, she mentioned the angel again and wondered if she will ever get to see it again.

“I hope so,” I said as I grazed her forehead with my lips. “Why do you think it let you see her?”

Without pausing, she answered, ”So I would keep believing.”

Yesterday, I woke up and wanted to get a closer look at the drawings on my sidewalk. The ones I hadn’t really been paying attention to. But they were already gone. The sprinklers overnight had washed them into a blur.

Oh, the mom guilt. When I see an angel in my midst, why am I so quick to dismiss it as my daughter simply repeating what she’s been told?

I will not see the movie or read the book Heaven Is For Real. Not because it got bad reviews or even because I doubt it’s authenticity. Part of me doesn’t want to be corrupted by someone else’s miraculous story. I don’t trust my brain to not “fit” my daughter into some category because my brain needs validation and explanation. Maybe, I don’t want to see the cynics on the big screen and really see myself.

Are you paying attention? 

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