We’re in the city this week, so obviously we’re going to make
daily a few Slurpee runs. Today the kids got the ingenious idea to grab some of the coffee sleeves for their slurpee cups because they were so cold that frostbite was a real concern. (And the award for Drama Queen goes to…). Written on the coffee sleeves was the 7/11 slogan: ‘Oh Thank Heaven…’
This naturally led to a conversation about heaven. A topic in which all 5 kids are now experts having spent a week at an evangelism based back yard camp, not to mention that we billeted the teacher.
‘In my room in heaven there’s going to be a Slurpee machine.‘ quipped one.
‘My whole room is going to be Slurpee machines and I will have unlimited money because the slurpees are free.‘ Another confidently explained heaven economics.
‘Well my room will be half Slurpee store and half Dairy Queen.’ The middle child upped the ante.
‘Oh yeah, we’ll I’m also going to have a hover board.‘ The big boy decided he’d have the last word.
The conversation then digressed into all the material possessions they would have in their heavenly mansions.
I was just about to open my mouth and launch into an epic ‘if-all-you-can-think-about-is-stuff, then-you’ll-never-get-ANYTHING-again’ lecture that would surely spur them to a monumental revelation, a spontaneous hymn sing and an ecstatic tossing of slurpees out the van windows. #parentingwin
But then I had a thought that totally caught me off guard.
How lucky are they that when these kids talk about heaven they fill it with the luxuries they have enjoyed on earth. How blessed are we that our kids think they could actually have a Slurpee store for a bedroom!
As adults we are totally stoked that heaven will be better than anything we could hope or imagine. Then usually we go to a dark place to imagine it. There won’t be any senseless shootings in heaven. There won’t be any racism in heaven. There won’t be rape culture in heaven. No child brides. No sex trafficking. There won’t be millions of displaced refugees. Everyone will be safe at home. No plaque-like viruses. No incurable cancers. Kids won’t get sick.
I want my kids to get that. To feel the emotion of our lostness and brokenness. To weep that we have been rescued from such wretchedness.
It literally stopped me in my tracks to realize that my kids were being kids in that moment. Their innocence and the security they have been raised in allowed them to have such a conversation.
So many kids do not have that luxury.
As a parent I take that for granted. I hasten away their innocence so they can have correct theology. Why in the world do I want to do that!?! They know that heaven will be wonderful. Today, slurpees are the most wonderful thing. Therefore heaven will be full of slurpees. Gold star answer, Amen!
As we pulled into the driveway the conversation changed just a little.
‘There won’t be any brain tumours in heaven.‘ reminded the sensitive son.
‘In heaven I won’t be disciplined.’ Said my logical daughter.
‘Yeah.‘ they all emphatically agreed.
I teared up a little as I counted the blessing that their little lives have been so free of trial and trauma that escaping time-out is on the same playing field as no sickness or death. (Even for my sensitive son who will literally love you to heaven and back.)
I know they get it. There are people in heaven they will be so happy to see. They know they will be there one day. They know it will be more wonderful than they can imagine. Someone wise once said we could learn a lot from their child-like faith.
And I confess, a room full of slurpees sounds absolutely heavenly to me.