It’s an old joke daddy loved telling his aunt. The joke about St. Peter giving a newcomer a tour of heaven and as they passed this one area, St. Peter says, “shhh, they’re Church of Christ and they think they’re the only ones here.”
Daddy’s eyes sparkled with mischievous fun telling his Church of Christ aunt this joke more time than she would have cared to hear it. Him a preacher in a different denomination, him a believer heaven would be filled with believers not denominations.
Before you get all up in arms about Church of Christ beliefs, I’m not up on their doctrine and know that in any given denomination there are many different tenants taken to heart. This isn’t about that.
This is about a book title I saw: Earth Crammed With Heaven by Elizabeth Dryer.
This is about the beauty of those turn of words and the possibility that earth could ever possibly be filled with heaven.
But what if our view of heaven is a place with rooms like the old joke suggests?
There’s the post-modern wing with Rob Bell and Brian McLaren readers. The stadium sized area for praise and worship lovers and the acoustically formed concert hall for those preferring the old hymns.
Surely there’s an incense filled area with icons and candles and there must be a street corner somewhere, gold-paved of course, for the likes of William Booth and the Sally bandsmen.
This is ridiculous, of course. Except, except sometimes we live like this. We live thinking more about being right than right living and we make no room in our lives for those different from us.
So if earth were crammed with heaven? This is the only quote I’ve seen from the book, the one that is resting on my mind today:
“In a profound way, our intentionality is a key ingredient determining whether we notice God everywhere or only in church or only in suffering or nowhere. It all depends on how we choose to fashion our world.” Elizabeth Dryer
It was a question asked when I was in Haiti two years ago. Where did you see God today? And what Ms Dryer says requires intention.
It seems natural to see God in church or while we’re doing churchy things. But if we believe God is all around us, are we looking for him everywhere?
We often mention seeing God in nature but do we see him in spider webs as much as we see him in sunsets? In gnarled roots as much as swaying Palm trees?
I need a redirection, a realignment of my eyes and my views to see a God I believe created the universe. The God who loves the one struggling with faith as much as he loves Billy Graham.
This is what keeps me in awe with the only One whose love is without conditions or boundaries. He alone gives hope for an earth being crammed with heaven.