this is a chunk from an evolving chapter in the second half of the book. (for the newbies, other excerpts are in the earliest postings).and for the record, i’m not a fan of “hysterically hiccuping” either…but that’s why i said it’s an evolving chapter.
i’m often afraid of heaven. if i think too long on it, i feel a shivery nausea run through me before my thoughts skip somewhere safer. the sheer unfathomable otherness of such a place or existence always overwhelms me.
one of my earliest and most revisisted memories is of my mom calming these fears. she found me hysterically hiccupping into my carebear in the dark of my canopy bed. when I admitted that the source of my panic was the thought of spending “a forever” in heaven, she laughed (the nerve!), but then got very serious.
“what’s the hardest thing you’re learning in school right now?” she asked. sensing a diversion and feeling wholly above such tactics, i answered hesitantly
“now imagine an ant trying to do your long division homework…do you think that’s possible?”
i remember cracking up, thinking that was just about the funniest thing i could picture, his tiny antennae twitching and sizzling as he struggled to compute. stupid little ant.
“no! their brains are way too small!”
“exactly. that’s what it’s like when we try to understand something like heaven. our human brains are too small to handle something so God-sized. You don’t have to be afraid of something just because you can’t understand it. the trick is learning to trust that God does.”
she asked me if the two of us could just keep sitting there on my bed and talking, would that be scary, even if there was no end in sight? no, that didn’t feel overwhelming at all.
i come back to that memory all the time to reassure myself that there’s a difference between fearing something and not understanding it. this is a distinction I tend to forget time and time again.
and really, would i want to worship a God who fit perfectly inside of my tiny little ant brain?