My cousin recently sent me a text: The Grandparents’ house is gone! He included a picture of a vacant lot where their house used to be. They passed away years ago, and now the home of our most cherished childhood memories was also gone—the home where we were showered with affection; where we played in the big sand pile, then got friendly-mad and threw sand in each others eyes; where we caught a million lizards, learned to swim, and had sword fights with the fallen woody stems from the schefflera tree; and where we ate loquats, key limes, and mangos, and ran around in a portending paradise till my bigger and beloved cousin caught me and threw me down (almost always on a pine root—they were everywhere) and I cried. It was good fun.

I texted back, That can’t be! No!!! I don’t accept. My heart will never accept such a thing. And He quickly replied, I believe it went to Heaven. But I hesitated to respond. I’m not so sure about that, I thought to myself. What does doctrine say? Doesn’t it mention that all this around us will be gone and that we’ll get a new heaven and a new earth in its placeYes, God whispered into my soul, but I’m God. You think I can’t recreate the house of your heart in Heaven, and many more that exist even greater and deeper in your heart that you don’t even know about yet?

Now I was ready to reply: I do, too. Can’t wait to see it and run around till you throw me on a pine root. Only this time I won’t cry, but just get up, then we’ll go inside and eat Granddad’s spaghetti. He didn’t respond to my remarks. But I know my cousin smiled.

I hope this encourages you today to imagine the joys in Heaven.

-Kevin Murray
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