Heaven in a Puzzle

September 1st, 2010

Nothing more sobering than the earnest question of a 9 year old.

“Where’s heaven”? He asked as I put together a “Fancy Nancy” puzzle on the floor with his 6 year old sister.

A quick change of mindset was needed from finding the missing corner piece to finding the meaning of life. (Parenting in a nutshell!) Or perhaps it did actually require the same part of my brain.

“Hmmmm” I paused for as long as possible, buying as much time as I could purchase.

“Well, I think heaven is right here in this room.”

“Noooooooo” he laughed, “its right up there high above the clouds.”

Where on earth did he get that idea from? I wondered as I went over the many progressive spiritual conversations our family had been having throughout the years. Had he not heard any of my rantings, my lectures?

“No no, heaven is bigger, heaven is present, heaven is now, heaven is love, light, being, wonder…heaven is you.” I struggled to explain to a glassy-eyed-I’m-not-listening-anymore son who couldn’t grasp my abstract concepts. A 9 year old who needed to remain in the concrete a little longer.

For some, heaven needs to be a place, somewhere to go, aim for, wait for, and be rewarded with. A dream, a longing. This heaven is only for those who can finish the puzzle.

“Found it!” claimed my 6yr old daughter.

“What, heaven?” I asked hopefully.

“No the corner piece.”

And in that moment, the conversation, the ideas, and questions all vanished. For now our attention became focused on the incomplete puzzle on the floor. While noticing my daughter’s proud beaming smile as she held up the missing piece, I realised that I was in fact looking directly into the face of heaven. Heaven in a little girl’s delight.

And so once again I was reminded that there’s no need to die, just simply be awake.

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