Today I finished reading The Chronicles of Narnia aloud to a child, all seven books, most likely for the last time. That’s a heavy thought for this book-loving, read-aloud loving mamma.
As Wogayu and I made our way through the final pages of The Last Battle, I had to pause several times, my throat choked with tears, as I read descriptions of CS Lewis’ imaginings of heaven.
What was it like when she got to heaven? What is it like now?
As I read, two happy things in the story stood out to me.
First, the characters discover fruit on a tree, but when they are about to pick it, they each pause because the fruit is so beautiful, each feels “it can’t be meant for me…surely we’re not allowed to pluck it.”
“It’s all right,”said Peter. “I know what we’re all thinking. But I’m sure, quite sure, we needn’t. I’ve a feeling we’ve got to the country where everything is allowed.”
The fruit is so delicious they aren’t able to describe it except to say, “If you had once eaten that fruit, all the nicest things in this world would taste like medicine after it.”
Now that makes me laugh a little.
Our Kalkidan loved to eat – the spicier and meatier the dish, the better.
But deeper and more precious than good food is this description in CS Lewis’ imagining of heaven.
“Isn’t it wonderful?” said Lucy. “Have you noticed one can’t feel afraid, even if one wants to?”
No fear. What does that feel like for a child whose life has been profoundly impacted by trauma? What would that feel like for me?
Kalkidan is fully alive in a place with no fear and only love.
Last night I imagined her being greeted in heaven by her Ethiopian mother who embraced her with exclamations of delight. Then her mother fed her spicy bits of meat wrapped in injera – the best food Kalkidan had ever tasted.
I pictured Kalkidan laughing, her dimples deep, her smile wide. All trauma healed, all fear gone.
This comforts me; it also requires imagination and faith, lots of faith.
Has someone you loved died? Do you try to imagine heaven?
What do you find most helpful and hopeful?
I’ve been very quiet here on the blog – my only explanation is parenting, a whole lot of parenting. It’s been intense, not bad, just a lot!
That, and I’m decluttering, which feels good.
While I may not be writing, I think of you every day. I contemplate what I would say if I were writing, jot down little notes to myself for future posts, and every once in awhile I think about posting on Instagram.
Then I respond to a voice yelling, “Mom!” or take a child to another appointment, or answer more calls or texts. How is it I have fewer children home than ever and yet life feels so full?
I have no explanation.
I hope to send out a “friends-letter” sometime after Labor Day! Sign up if you want a short note from me in your inbox.
Thoughts on heaven? Leave me a comment.
Much love, courage, and hope for the journey.