Gotta be honest...I've never been that curious about Heaven. Like, the details of Heaven. For me, Jesus, my Mom and my Grandmother are there. That's pretty much all I need to know.
I asked Jesus to be my Savior when I was a child, and so my eternal destiny is sealed. I'm not one bit afraid of dying.
Check that. I'm not afraid of death. The dying part...as in HOW I will die? Not a fan of that. I've seen how hard it is on everyone when a person suffers for a long time before their death. And I've LIVED how hard it is when someone dies suddenly and without warning. Guess it's good that God knows best and I don't get a say in any of it.
I want everyone to know Jesus, to enjoy a life with His help and guidance...and to have assurance that they, too, will live in eternity in Heaven when they die. But the biggest draw for having a relationship with Jesus, for me, is not what will be in the future, as great as that is going to be. It's the constant presence of God's Spirit in my life RIGHT NOW. Like, every minute of every day.
I need Him so much.
All the time.
The things we have gone through with Joshua...and still deal with on a daily basis with him; Clark's birth and cancer; And pretty much every single day of our ordinary lives...I CANNOT IMAGINE handling difficulties and trials without God's help.
So, yeah...Heaven. The Bible says there will be no tears, no death, no sorrow, no pain in Heaven. SIGN ME UP. As far as a description of Heaven...mansions, pearly gates and streets of gold pretty much sum up the extent of what I know.
But even with limited knowledge and information about Heaven, I long for it. I really do. I know I don't deserve it at all. Maybe that's why I have never focused much on all the "extras" waiting for me there, because just getting there...getting to see Jesus and my Mom and my Grandmother, and a host of other family and friends...is enough, and far above anything I could ever imagine.
I have really enjoyed learning more about Heaven. Our pastor has done a great job making things easy to understand. He told us not to speculate about things the Bible doesn't tell us about Heaven. He did tell us that we could imagine what it will be like based on what we DO know. He also spent a little time shooting down popular myths about Heaven. He made things very clear.
Even for Joshua.
I think I've written that Joshua's hearing is not that good, but he does appear to listen to the sermon. I wonder what he is able to actually hear from the pastor. He is able to keep up with the sermon notes, because those are put on the big screen.
On one of our drives to Little Rock last week, he randomly said, "do you know what I like best about Heaven?" I was so interested to hear what he had to say. I figured it would be about seeing his Grandmother again. I was not prepared for his response.
He said, "no moles...no down."
No moles? Didn't really get that, but we have a lot of moles in our family. I'm guessing he thought his moles made his skin imperfect, and the pastor said we will have a new and perfect body in Heaven.
No down? This broke my heart, because he meant no "down." As in DOWN SYNDROME.
I just wanted to cry. I mean, of course he's right. I mean, I guess he is.
But I'm not gonna lie...nothing would tickle me more than if, when we get to Heaven, our "perfect" bodies that God gives us are small and "travel-sized," and we all have little tiny ears. Just sayin. :)
I guess I thought that we had made it okay for him. Yes, he has Down Syndrome, but we have always believed...and taught our kids...that God created Joshua just the way he is. All 47 chromosomes. Especially the extra one. I believe that with all of my heart. If God created him that way, why would Joshua need to change in Heaven to be "perfect?"
It broke my heart that he realizes how different he is...because we like to think that we have made this really great life for him and that he is awesome and that there's nothing wrong with him just the way he is.
Then someone sent this to me today, and I cried my eyes out.
When Joshua was dedicated to the Lord in front of our church, as a 3 month old baby, I remember our very high-brow pastor holding him in front of the congregation (kind of like a "Lion King" moment, when Rafiki held Simba up to show the people) (ha), and emphatically saying, "God don't make no junk."
And He doesn't. And He is good. And OF COURSE I want Joshua to enjoy being perfect and whole in every way.
It's just hard to realize that what Joshua is most excited about when he thinks about Heaven is... "no down."