For those of us who firmly believe in life after death (speaking here of heaven) as I do, it is natural to contemplate what that must be like. I often think, how is there room for all of those folks who trusted Christ and now live with Him “up there” ? Of course, our bodies change (I am looking forward to that), so I guess spiritual bodies just don’t take up that much room…or maybe we flit around all day or all century, so we are not packed in there like we used to be at a Grateful Dead concert. I don’t know. None of us can know…yet.
I do know that scripture tells us that in heaven there is no marriage. Jesus said that in reply to the Pharisees who were trying to trick Him , asking a question about a woman who had been married more than once. I know there is at least one religion which teaches that marriage does extend into eternity, but I don’t see any evidence for that in my worldview, i.e., the Judeo-Christian one. I am sure there are many spouses of both genders who are saying “Yay!” to this, because their earthly partnerships have been pretty darn tough. What would be heavenly about continuing that and ending up in the Eternal Divorce Court’s new season on Lifetime ?
But I had a good one. Husband, I mean. Today would be the 44th anniversary of the day we spent our lunch hour at the courthouse in Montgomery County , Maryland outside D.C. getting married. We had been a couple for three years before that. Being two sinful human beings, things were not always rosy. We were, at various times, broke, sick (usually me), scared, angry, unsure , exhausted….also, prosperous, feeling pretty well, full of laughter, hopeful, grateful, delighting in our children. One thing we always were: in love. I mean real love. Love that remained strong and committed through all of that stuff I mentioned. I was the one who pushed for immediate resolution of conflict, even if it meant some loud conversation; Jim had to process for about four days. I sometimes almost dislocated my eyeballs from so much eye-rolling. But, he was almost always right in his decisions…and we truly never kept score of real or perceived “wrongs.”
He always told me I was beautiful, even though I didn’t look much like the leggy young hippie gal he married. His beautiful eyes and his laugh never failed to give me palpitations. I miss marriage, or marriage to Jim. I miss that he could fix anything in the house and that we had a partnership in which we as individuals did those things at which we were better than the other. I miss watching the funny movies we loved together and yelling at him to stop whistling whatever song he had been whistling for eleven hours nonstop. I miss our faith journey together and I miss romance. Yes, children, romance is also good when you are old.
The thing is, I am the one who misses all of this. I am here for, well, only the Lord know how much longer. I am not saying I am “ready to go”. I have grandchildren I hope to see grow some more. I hope I still have something to contribute in life. Jim….he has been with God for over three years now. I am pretty sure he would not choose to return. In my best moments, I don’t want him to. It’s always been a hard world, but our present time is perhaps even more so. He is spared this. I often think that heaven would not be as wonderful as we are promised if our loved ones are just there fretting over the ridiculous happenings on earth. So, I will always have my teary times, missing Jim, my happy memory times, my resignation that this is my reality now, my laughter with the world’s most beautiful grandkids, and the steady support of friends. Jim doesn’t care about all of this anymore, but the Savior he loved and served is still holding me up. So, I will still celebrate my wedding anniversary and be oh so grateful for those years.