Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On Heaven and Hell

Since learning of Jerry Falwell's death earlier today, I've been thinking about heaven and hell. Maybe that doesn't surprise you. But, to clear up any misconceptions people might have--given that I am known to post from a somewhat religious perspective--I really don't devote a whole lot of my time to pondering the afterlife. I believe that it exists, but it's never been the "main thing" for me. And, much the way toddlers are incapable of fully understanding her parents and their world, I just don't think we can possibly know what it will be like until we get there.

Anyway, I found myself thinking of these words from the hymn Borning Cry.

When the evening gently closes in,
and you shut your weary eyes,
I'll be there as I have always been
with just one more surprise.

I think that, no matter who we are, when our time comes, we're bound to be surprised. Some of us, I imagine, will be more surprised than other. Some of us will be pleasantly surprised, and others...not so much. Maybe, just maybe, Rev. Falwell is, at this very moment, getting his bearings in an afterlife where he is surrounded by loving families headed by same-sex couples. People of all different religions and ethnicities being welcomed with open arms by our loving Mother Godde. Maybe for him, that would be "hell"...

Another thought... Once we are no longer limited by our usual first person singular perspective, it seems plausible to me that we could experience, as some have claimed, a life review in which we experience from the other person's perspective every encounter which we have ever had with another. If it were to turn out that is what's in store for us, how pleasant or unpleasant do you think that would be?