A dictionary is hundreds of pages bound together. Within the binding, and between the pages, there are many words. To each word is dedicated a few short lines, some more than others, but never more than a page. Heaven is defined in the dictionary as a noun; the house of God, the angels, and the spirits of the righteous after death; the place or state of existence of the blessed after the mortal life. Heaven is just a word, a simple six letter combination.
The word Heaven is usually referred to as a place, rooted from biblical stories. In the Bible, Heaven is described as an eternal city referred to as the New Jerusalem. This city is a place where God’s men live with him, and where everything is new and no tears can be shed. The word Heaven was coined by the writers of the Hebrew bible where Heaven is used as a synonym for “sky”. There is also evidence that shows the ancient world people thought of God as quite literally a “sky dweller.” The Islamic view of Heaven is paradise, and is very real to them. The Buddhist’s see it entirely different from most other religions. They don’t accept it as eternal, and they believe that you can work your way out of hell and into Heaven. Jews see Heaven as an experience where the soul has its greatest pleasure. They believe that it is a place where you feel a certain type of closeness to God. They feel that what you get in the afterlife is analogous to what you give during life; the more you give during your life, the more you get in the afterlife. And still, Catholics believe that Heaven is everywhere, like their belief that God is everywhere. These are only a few of the religions known by the billions of people whom inhabit the earth. So, what exactly is Heaven, what religious idea is correction and is it even possible to define such a meaningful term with mere words?
Growing up I remember being told that when I get to Heaven I will have a house all made up by God. I’ll get to walk on golden roads, I will be able to see all my family, and I’ll hold hands with the ones I love. Not a paradise, but a better world. A place where there will be no tears and no more suffering. Everything I’ll need and everything I’ll want will be there with me. There will be a path to God’s door where I will be able to wait in line to ask him any question I could possibly have. Heaven is where I was told I would find complete contentment.
Sometimes I wonder if people believe more in the idea of Heaven than they do in God. From every definition, however, there has to be a God for there to be a Heaven. You cannot believe in Heaven but not in God; that just doesn’t add up. People do believe in Heaven, because they believe there has to be a better place than where we are now. Without an afterlife, without a God and without a Heaven, why are we here, why do we even matter?
For me Heaven is simple and the same for everyone; Heaven is freedom and contentment. Two abstract life changing words that everybody defines in their own way in what the individual believes. Everyone will have freedom and contentment; everyone’s freedom and contentment are different. That is the beautiful part about Heaven.
I believe in a greater power and I believe there has to be a place above the clouds. Someone is there pouring out the rain and bringing up the sun, and someone is there giving us hope. Heaven is where my friend is, playing with dinosaurs and conducting a train. Heaven is an open wooded area and a lonely boat at sea. Heaven is God’s glory in the flesh. Heaven is perfection, Heaven is completion. Heaven is everything but a six letter combination.