What Heaven may be like

As central as Heaven is to our Christian faith, some of us find it a bit hard to relate to Biblical images of streets of gold. Young folks in particular may not look forward to Heaven if they don’t have a good image of it. This week, I found an analogy to Heaven that gave me goose-bumps. (Click on a pic to enlarge it, then click the Go Back button).

The Monarch butterflies that lazily flutter about in the springtime, and seem to have a hard time getting across your backyard, actually fly about 2,000 miles between Canada and Mexico. At the finish of one of these extended migrations, they end up clinging to trees in the mountains of Mexico. The trees are essentially “butterfly trees” because the creatures are so densely packed together.

How these butterfly trees were discovered is an intriguing story (copy and paste into your internet browser): http://www.npr.org/2012/10/04/161741289/flight-a-few-million-little-creatures-that-could
In brief, Catalina and Kenneth were hired by a Canadian. They spent two years in Mexico searching, by jeep and on horseback, and enjoyed every minute of it. When they found the trees, Catalina says, “I cannot describe the feeling. It was magical”.

The flight from Mexico to Canada is not an easy one for a butterfly. Grandma may start the journey, but only her granddaughter will make it to Canada and lay her eggs. After hatching, her own daughter becomes part of a “supergeneration” flock of butterflies that flies all the way back to Mexico for the winter.

A new 3D IMAX film called Flight of the Butterflies has just been released, 36 years after the discovery of the butterfly trees. “Trees that are draped — that are made almost of butterflies. It’s got a surreal, supernatural feeling to it. It sends a sort of tingle up your spine when you see it in 3-D. And then they wake up and they all begin to fly”. This observation, by the producer Mike Slee, is what made me think of Heaven.

When we cross the threshold, I think we may see things like the butterfly trees, and the impact will be awesome. We will stand there and gaze in amazement at tens of millions of Monarchs snuggling on the trees and branches, and we may even bow our head and softly murmur “Oh Wow! Thank you Lord”.

Please do not miss the film at the IMAX. Although I have not yet seen the film, I suspect the experience may be something like going to Heaven! The film was made by taking pictures of the butterfly trees from a 70 foot crane. The producer says that in the close-up pics you can even see their Punk-Rocker hairstyles!

Other analogies to help us to visualize what Heaven may be like are given in the book Hiking Toward Heaven⁰. These also come from my imagination. I would be interested in reading what is your own image of Heaven, if you would care to add it to the Comments box at the end of the blog.

The Gray Nomad.
Probing the practice of Christian believers….

“The foundation stones of the wall of the city were ornamented with all of the precious stones……And the main street of the city was of gold, as pure and translucent as glass…….Then he showed me the river whose waters gave life, sparkling like crystal, flowing out from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the broad way of the city”. (Revelation, chapter 21, Amplified Bible).

⁰ Hiking Toward Heaven: see info on the home page of this website, or Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any bookstore (also available as an e-book).

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8 comments on “What Heaven may be like”

  1. bmwhite55@yahoo.com says:

    My idea of heaven is that it is unknown to my human mind, but my mind lets me know it will be better than anything I could imagine. It will be where we will see our parents and all our other family and friends. It will be wonderful because I saw my Mom in her last alert moments on this earth raise her hands toward heaven and say with a smile on her face, “Oh Jesus, Oh Jesus.” She was so happy and at peace. She did not know what she was going to see but she saw Jesus and that is all she needed.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      What a beautiful memory….. I agree Heaven will be an experience beyond our earthly knowing, and I’m predicting the butterfly film will let us have just a little taste. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Liz says:

    It would be cool to see that movie

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Yes Liz, and I cannot wait. I think it will be a kind of spiritual experience.

  3. Neil Palmer says:

    Thanks for the inspiration. I was doing some mechanical repairs on an old vehicle in Australia some years ago with a good friend. There were lots of problems to solve but after a hard day’s work we nailed them all and felt quite a sense of achievement and satisfaction. I asked a well respected Christian leader who happend to be visiting (and stopped by to see what we were doing) whether we would be able to “fix things” in heaven, as we had to use a lot of intelligence and ingenuity (both originating from God). He said he didn’t know and hadn’t thought about it. I was astonished that our future in eternity is still such a mystery to many. Thanks for shedding a little light on this fascinating topic.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      You put your finger on it Neil. Thanks for sharing this. We generally say we want to go to Heaven, because we want to be with God, or we want to be with those who have gone before us, or we long for a place where there is no suffering, no tears, and is stress-free. But what we will see and do there remains a mystery to me, and for active folks just walking on streets of gold may seem a little boring. The idea of fixing a car by using our ingenuity and the resulting feeling of satisfaction, and the idea of standing in awe in front of butterfly trees, are things that we humans can relate to. They suggest a picture of what happiness in Heaven may include. If God provides these gifts on earth (our ingenuity, and Monarch butterflies), why not much more in Heaven?

  4. Tom W says:

    Another excellent read is by a Tulsa hiker doing a 2100 mile trek up the USA east coast in four months. His
    book is “A compassionate journey” by Brad Johnson. This account could also qualify for a glimpse of heaven.

    1. IanPalmer says:

      Good information Tom, as I think different “glimpses” of Heaven provide us with a focus and help us to ponder and discuss what Heaven may be like.


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