Someone told me when I was a kid that heaven was like ecstatic happiness, basically.
I imagined it, therefore, to be endless chocolate, pools, and trampolines.
However, having lived a long, painful life, and tried and tried to stuff my unhappy with those things, I found them sadly wanting.
Somewhere in the year of Adulthood Kicks Genevieve’s Ass But Also God is Good All the Time I was regurgitating to the mater about my long bucket list and an inability to control my budget and decide what to save for first.
I have this problem with spreadsheets, you see.
I almost failed out of Accounting 101 at GFU because the homework was so boring, I pretty much never did it. But then I got my stuff together and pulled a good grade.
Told my dude that the taxes and bills are his problem. Told him how much I made last year and that I don’t really know where all of it went…
He was like, YOU WHAT?
I was like, Yeah, see, there was that keeping up with the Joneses problem and then Petunia’s repairs and then my closet…
I think the good, protective Christian men in my life don’t understand why I find the word “success” so, um, triggering.
Because to me, money is really about generosity. The good you can do with it. And apparently, I’ve always found poverty and simplicity attractive.
I’m always so people-rich, cash-poor.
My man is gonna have to handle the providing thing.
My mutti said at the time of verbal processing: Genevieve, maybe you should prioritize your angst.
I got a bit huffy.
But now I do. My priorities are now: God, my man, la familia, my best friend, and everyone else.
I knew he was real special when we were discussing kids and I started to hesitate and he said with a giant smile, But Genevieve, GOD WILL PROVIDE!
That is…always the right answer.
And of course, He does.
He always does for some reason.
My parents worked a miracle: They raised nine well-adjusted, successful, kind and rather loud individuals who pursue God relentlessly. They worked hard to achieve that.
I now imagine Heaven to be like: endless chocolate, pools, trampolines, reunion with dead pets, AND a big happy family with old friends AND some really funny stories AND rest for the weary AND ecstatic contemplation of God AND the movie of history from God’s point of view. I like to imagine peering down into the scenes of my life and seeing everyone’s thoughts pop up in writing like bubbles.
I wonder if the thoughts of people who speak foreign languages would pop up in those languages, like maybe the thoughts of my Chinese Franciscan sisters would pop up in Chinese characters.
There is of course a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea.
Christianity is not sin management, someone said this weekend. It’s really just love of God.
I hunted down one of the sisters this weekend who, rumor has it, died for twenty-four seconds and saw Jesus.
In life, you can choose either belief or skepticism.
She told me:
He was standing outside the gate, leading souls toward it. He raised his finger to me and said, Not yet. And then I woke up surrounded by the doctors.
What did his face look like, Sister? I asked, because I was wondering if he appeared to her as a Filipino like her or more Middle Eastern.
Because, y’know, Jesus is for all peoples.
The more I love Jesus, the better it gets! I have this somewhat rad belief that Jesus heals all wounds, in a variety of ways. The more I stuff myself with Jesus, the happier I am. There’s room in this messy church for everyone!
Even, I suppose I can grudgingly admit, overcaffeinated Frenchmen.