Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Star Wars Paradise

One of my bible study friends and I were talking about our study, and she asked me “What is it they are saying when all the people drop everything and go pray in those countries?”

The expat dilemma – most people don’t want too much explanation. And you never know who is a rabid anti-Islamist, and I don’t want to argue. But this time I took a chance.

“They are saying different things depending on the time of day, like first thing in the early morning they say ‘come pray! come pray! It is better to pray than to sleep!’ and then they say ‘God is Great! God is Great! I testify that there is only one God, and Mohammed is his prophet.'”

I sort of held my breath, as she thought about this, and then she said “Well, I guess that’s all right.”

Then she asked me if I ever thought about heaven. I told her about our churches in Qatar and Kuwait. I especially miss them at this time of the year. I told her I thought Paradise would look like our churches there, all peoples from all parts of the globe. I told her how on Christmas, all the Indian women wore their most beautiful saris, and the African women wore their dresses and fancy headpieces, and we westerners wore our nicest winter clothes, and we all worshipped together in peace, and to me, that was just a tiny slice of what I think paradise will look like.

My friend is fourth generation Pensacolian, and has never travelled. She proceeded to blow me away.

“Did you ever see Star Wars?” she asked me. I nodded. “Do you remember the bar scene?” I nodded again. Who could forget? But where is this discussion going?

“When we think of heaven, we think of what we know, but there is so much out there we don’t know, and God is creator of all the universe.” she said. “We can’t limit God to what we know; he is so much more! I think it’s going to be like that bar in Star Wars, that we will be with creatures we cannot even imagine, and that we can have celestial homes wherever we want, like a cabin in Alaska, or a hut beside the Ganges or maybe we can be here for a few thousand years and then on another planet, whatever we want.”

Her vision is huge. It took my breath away. The more she talked, the more blown away I became. I was shocked at my own smallness, my lack of imagination, and thrilled with her vision and the possibilities. She’s right, you know. We can’t begin to imagine what our heavenly home will look like, but her idea gave me food for speculation for months – maybe years – to come.

December 17, 2010 Posted by | Aging, Beauty, Character, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar, Random Musings, Spiritual, Values | 4 Comments