I used to believe that heaven was a place. Somewhere tucked between the clouds just beyond the reach of mortals was a utopia where the sun always shines. From the stories I heard as a kid, I imagined this place to be easy-going with its affluence decadently showcased in gold pavement and gated mansions.
Somehow heaven made sense spatially existing above our universe. Population control was an act of judgment necessary to keep the saints separated from the sinners and protected for their piety. It made sense that access to such a place was restricted to those who proved salvation. My brain could justify heaven’s overwhelming resemblance to earth and the idea of giant homes and golden streets were never pacifying images to me inspite of us living in poverty.
I didn’t long for a place where food and ease were offered in abundance. I didn’t picture heaven like the old folks in my church who worked hard all their life and would use this ultimate resting place to “lay their burdens down”. Heaven was God’s home and the place where only good happened.
As I’ve matured in my faith, I now know with certainty that heaven does exist. Much unlike the place described by the early believers, the heaven I’ve encountered is accessible to those living and to those who have died physically. Heaven is more than a place. These lines from the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” describe heaven as God’s realm.
Behind the veil of doubt, despair, and desire is the realm of certainty and enoughness. This place is not designed by physical hands and access to its sublime awareness isn’t guarded by a heavenly host. Each time I breathe and feel the air fill my lungs; each time I see evidence of God and connect with the joy inside my soul; every time the chatter in my mind finds solace and breaks open to the stillness of God…
I am in heaven.