I know we do not all believe in the same things.
And truthfully, some days I am not sure exactly what I believe in.
But I think I got a glimpse of Heaven.
A couple of weeks ago, we attended our little sister’s graduation at the Cajundome. Mallory is my husband’s little sister by 9 years — she is my little sister-in-law. We sat with her fiance (they got married a week later!) and my husband’s parents. She is a first-generation college graduate and the second college graduate in the family — my husband is the first. My husband’s parents picked a seat about even with the left side of the stage, so we had a great view of the whole Cajundome.
We were a bit early. But since we have been to several ULL graduations, we knew what to expect. We sat there anxiously waiting for the graduates to walk in the room. We knew that Mallory was going to be one of the first in line since her last name starts with an A. She texted us while we were on our way to let us know that she would be number 106 to walk across the stage.
The quintessential graduation song began to play.
We all stood up.
All of the families in their little clusters around the room began to search for their graduate. So many expressions filled their faces — price, joy, sacrifice, bursting potential, happiness, relief … to name a few. But mostly pride. The pride was literally contagious and radiated through the room.
As the line of graduates poured into the Cajundome, the clusters of families with their pride on their faces began to call out and wave when they got the first glimpse of their graduate.
“Hey! Over here! Over here!”
And the graduates searched the crowd. They looked up and around the entire Cajundome. They craned their necks and strained their eyes. Maybe some families mentioned a general area that they would be seated in but maybe that did not work out or maybe they did not mention it. But when the graduate would get a glimpse of his or her people … the pride, the smiles. Some would strike a little pose to show off the gown and the terrible hat. Some would throw up a wave or a peace sign. Some threw their hands in the air in praise and thanksgiving and holy heck relief.
And that is when it hit me.
I think this is what Heaven is going to be like.
The people who have gone before you will know that you are coming. Or at least they will hope you are coming.
And they will cluster up and wait for you come through the Pearly Gates. They will crane their necks and strain their eyes until they see you.
Then the pride will completely wash over them. Because you made it. You did what you needed to do. You lived a virtuous life. You made it.
They will shout! They will call out your name!
“Hey! Over here! Over here!
You will be searching, too. Your arms have ached for years and years to hug them again — to hug the ones who went before you. To tell them that one more thing. To apologize for that ridiculous fight or the thing you wish you never said.
And you will see them. You will see their faces in the crowd — your cluster of people — and the joy and pride on their faces.
You will pose and show their how you have grown or God willing how you have aged. You will throw up a peace sign or hands up to the Heavens … oh wait … maybe you will just throw your hands open wide – I MADE IT.
You will sit through the ceremony. There will be one, right? A welcome to eternity? At least some housekeeping items to take care of, right? Trash days and business hours? What’s for lunch?
Your cluster will continue to beam — their emotions all over their faces. You will continue to glance up at them to make sure they are still there, that it isn’t a dream — that you made it.
I think that is what Heaven is going to be like.
I think I got a glimpse of Heaven.
And look. I read the Bible. I know that time and space and all that jazz is not really a thing for the Heavens. But I know that joy is a thing of the Heavens. And this is how my human brain comprehends what a fraction of that joy may be like – for me and for my cluster. So until that day comes – until I get to see my sweet Theo’s face in that crowd – I will hold Mallory’s graduation day close to my heart.