Heaven and Hell
So according to Wikipedia heaven is “a realm, either physical or transcendental in which people who have died continue to exist in an afterlife. Heaven is often described as the holiest place, accessible by people according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith or other virtues.” Addyson however is having a difficult time understanding that heaven is in fact a good place. I was explaining some song lyrics to her the other day in the car and needless to say she was VERY confused so as I continued to explain the more and more it became clear that she was developing a fear of this event/place. She doesn’t want to leave earth, her friends and family although she does understand that we will see our family/friends that have died once we get to heaven. It’s very confusing for her!
We’ve spent the last few days discussing heaven and when we’ll be going to heaven, who will be going to heaven and why we’ll be going. I was telling Justin about it yesterday on our lunch date and as they were reading their Bible Story the questions starting coming. It just so happened that they were reading about the crucifixion so it was the right time (according to J). As he began to try to answer her questions he also decided to tell her the other side of the story and introduced hell. WOW! That brought about a whole other slue of questions, fears, concerns, and thoughts from our little thinker! Justin did great and when I went in to giver her a kiss and hug before turning the light out. She whimpered to me that she didn’t want to go to “Ummmm….Bethlehem ?!?” Justin laughed and said “No Addy, not Bethlehem, Hell.” She didn’t want to go there or heaven so we talked some more and finally just ended the conversation explaining to her that we weren’t going anywhere without her and she just needed to go to sleep. She didn’t like that answer but knew she had worn out her question time before bed.
As Justin always does he depicted the truth without trying to sugar-coat anything so Addyson most likely got a description of hell similar to the one offered by Wikipedia, “a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict Hell as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict Hell as an intermediary period between incarnations. Typically these traditions locate Hell under the Earth’s external surface and often include entrances to Hell from the land of the living.”
Needless to say I’m sure we’ll be answering these questions for years to come. In fact she awoke this morning with a “Mom, I’m so glad we didn’t have to go to heaven or that other place last night!”. I love my daughter and I told her yes, I was glad too but I was ready to go to heaven if it was God’s timing. This time she let it go…who knows when the next theological conversation will occur:).