Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Five People I'll Meet in Heaven

My sister-in-law teases me about my mental "list" of people I plan to meet on the other side.  Technically, she's right. 
Although in my defense, I don't walk around thinking about this constantly.  It's more of a visual image I have of heaven and long lines of people waiting to meet others.  I have no idea how the system will work.  But eternity is never ending.  So if I have to take a ticket, make a reservation, whatever - one way or another - I'm going to meet these people.

#1 - Queen Elizabeth I

I remember my first introduction to her in a 7th grade history class and it was like a light bulb went off.  I was fascinated by her - could not learn enough about her.  She draws me in - completely.  I believe she was chosen, planned and crafted for the specific role she played.  I see God's hand in her reign - in the direction the world became through her. 

There is an apocryphal story about Elizabeth's accession that I'd like to believe is true.  On the day Elizabeth was finally set free from her years of house arrest following her sister's death (Queen Mary), she declared, 'A Domino factum est illud et est mirabile in oculis nostris' ('This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in Our eyes.') 

That scene is beautifully shown here in a clip from the BBC production of Elizabeth I, The Virgin Queen...

The sad part is when I finally meet her, I will either be speechless or say something lame ("yeah, I... um... think you're really great" - pathetic!).  The woman was brilliant - spoke 7 languages, avid debater, shrewd leader, etc.  She demanded intellectual stimulation from everyone around her - which means I'll probably last 5 seconds... if at all. 

But that's okay.  I'd be content to simply meet her and then sit down to hear her speak...

#2 - Queen Victoria

My love of Victoria didn't come until the last year of my undergraduate at BYU in a Senior Seminar class on Victorian Art & Culture.  And then it felt as if I was uncovering a person I'd already met... like I knew this woman.  I love her early determination to "be good", her ability to forgive, her marriage to Prince Albert, and her endurance after his death.

I get this woman.  I get the mother behind the crown, the na├»ve politician working with Melbourne & later partnering with Disraeli, the mourning and the crazy things like the hand molds and the rituals post Albert's death.  

When I meet her, I want to take both her hands in mine, look her in the face and tell her I completely understand.  I understand the reasoning behind everything she did.  I know she doesn't need me to say that.  But I want her to know it all the same.

#3 - Jim Henson

I don't know what Jim Henson will be working on when I meet him, but I really hope he'll let me tag along.  I'll work for free.  I'll do his finances.  I'll sweep the floors.  I just want to be invited to his meetings - when he creates new material with Frank Oz.  I'll just hang out in the background watching. 

I have no ambition in puppetry - just a deep respect for Jim's genius and sense of humor.  I also feel like I owe him so much for making my childhood delightful.  The scripts he created with Frank Oz were so vividly clever, so down-to-earth in their conversational humor.  On top of that, Jim Henson was a good man - a loyal husband and father. 

I am positive he's still busy creating on the other side...      

#4 - Soren Kierkegaard

“It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.”

I fully expect by the time I meet Mr. Kierkegaard that he will be in close company with Elder Neal A. Maxwell.  The two men are nearly identical. 

"The truth shall set you free, but first it shall make ye miserable."

There is no adequate way to describe why I want to meet Mr. Kierkegaard without sounding like a babbling fool.  I will have nothing of consequence to say to him - nothing that could be worthy of personal discourse with such a great man.  My foremost concern will be Kierkegaard's view of himself and God now that he's on the other side of the veil.  Has he found fulfillment?  Did he find a satisfactory solution to his troubling turmoil over the Abrahamic sacrifice in Fear and Trembling?  Is he now content?  And above all, Mr. Kierkegaard, please tell me your despair no longer exists. 

"If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe."

This man will be a mighty giant on the other side - working tirelessly in the cause of God.  I have no doubt.  And I greatly look forward to hearing his sermons...

#5 - Eve
I know... this is Rossetti's Proserpine.  Close enough.
Of all Biblical women, Eve impresses me the most.  I don't claim to know the symbolic accuracy vs. the literal interpretation of all the stories surrounding the creation.  But I do believe the following -

#1 - Eve did exist.

#2 - She was an incredibly intelligent and capable woman who had to make a sacred, eternal decision.  In short, she wasn't blind sighted or tricked and she didn't make the choice on a whim.  She knew exactly what she was doing.

#3 - She came face-to-face with evil - in its most direct and horrible form - on an ongoing basis.  And she overcame it.

I greatly look forward to meeting this woman - though part of me suspects I already have. 


And while we're on the subject, and because these people deserve no recognition whatsoever, I'll simply list them as "The Five People I'm Going to Punch in the Throat" -

#1 - Joseph Goebbels

#2 - Chairman Mao (and his wife)

#3 - Pol Pot

#4 - Governor Lilburn Boggs

#5 - Kim Jong-un

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Break 2014

Some of us really did take a break.

Some of us worked out.

One of us dislocated a finger while playing catch-football by the pool (Big Guy). 

One of us forgot Sunday church pants.

There were a few tears.

The littlest one tried to figure out golf.

Some of us were almost attacked by our food.

We braved wildlife.

And all of us endured cold water.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Because of Him

...I have the strength to be obedient.

...I can improve.

...I can forgive. 

...I can be happy even in difficult circumstances. 

...I feel peace and reassurance in my crazy, chaotic life. 

...I will be reunited with many inspiring, courageous people on the other side who are waiting for me.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


I don't like most of the lyrics that are pushed on the pre-teen scene - gobbled up by little minds who think it's the end-all-of-expressionism.  And regardless of the song, it all seems to end with a party - or some major event going on tonight.

It doesn't matter what's happened in the past... what mistakes I made... how I failed... how someone else failed me.  Because tonight I'm going to look amazing and keep the beat pumpin'!

Little minds fail to realize the incredible short-sightedness of this vision.

Because tomorrow always comes.  Daylight always creeps through closed blinds.  And the problems that existed the day before are astonishingly still there

It's a rite of passage into maturity.  Can you survive the bubble of implausible and senseless thinking?  Or will you sink into a shallow, stagnant pond of absurdity?

(Please let my kids be in the first category... please let my kids be in the first category... please let my kids be in the first category...)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Spy With My Little Eye...

We're pretty sure how the Frisbee got up there.  But Greg is suspiciously quiet about the broom...