by Howard Hain
—a play for children, adults, and all humanity—
(Midweek morning, a small urban apartment, a father and his seven-year-old daughter, sitting on an old IKEA couch, half hour before school)
DAUGHTER (looking out window): Daddy, is heaven real?
FATHER (sipping coffee): Absolutely.
D: And Jesus is in heaven?
F: Yes. Definitely.
D: Are there people in heaven with Jesus?
D: People who died?
F: Yes, people who died but who now live forever with Jesus in heaven.
F: Yes, for ever and ever. Perfectly happy.
D: What do they do in heaven all that time?
F: Well, they do what Jesus does, because when you’re in heaven you’re like Him.
D: Like Him? People in heaven are like Jesus?
F: Yes, when you’re in heaven you see Jesus, so you become like Him, like God.
D: I don’t understand…
F: Well, it’s hard to explain. I don’t really understand it either. I don’t know if anybody does…it’s really hard to even try…
D: Can you? Can you try?
F: Well, put it this way. You know that God is great, right?
F: Well, He’s not just great, He’s so great that everything that even comes close to Him becomes great… In fact, He’s so great that when a person even sees God—I mean really sees Him—really, really sees Him—that person actually becomes like God. It’s amazing…but God is just that great. He’s that powerful.
D: But what about me?
F: What about you?
D: What if I see God? What if I really see Him—if I really, really see Him—will I be like God too?
F: Well, yes…when you’re in heaven…you’ll be like God too.
D: But how come not now?
F: Well, do you see God now?
D: No…not really…(long pause)…(smiling)…but kind of…
F: Well…you’re right…sometimes we do “kind of” see God…we “kind of” get a little “peak” at Him every once in a while…but in heaven it’s different, it’s like seeing God face to face—just like you and I see each other right now—but even much more, because in heaven you’ll never stop seeing Him. In heaven it’s not like seeing someone now but not seeing him or her a little while later. In heaven it’s always…you and God never stop seeing each other…
D: And that makes you just like God?
F: Well, yes, because in heaven you are totally part of Jesus, and He is totally part of you. It’s like the two of you are one “thing”.
D: That’s why you do what Jesus does?
F: Yes. I mean, how could you not? Think about it… Imagine if you were tied to someone at the waist by a very, very short rope… Ok? Picture it. Now…wouldn’t you have to go everywhere that person goes?
F: So if he went into the kitchen, you’d go into the kitchen…and if he went to sit on the couch, well, you’d go sit on the couch…
D: Yes…like those twins we saw on TV…the ones that were still attached…
F: (smiling) Well, yes, kind of… …that’s a really good example… (pause) …maybe it’s more like two little twin babies who are still living in their mommy’s belly, who go everywhere their mommy goes… Because in heaven it’s like you’re attached to Jesus in every good way possible…your mind, your heart, your soul…and yet you’re totally free, free to do whatever you want whenever you want…and that’s maybe the best part, because what you want to do is always exactly what Jesus is already doing! So it all works out perfectly. That’s why you’re so happy in heaven. Happy as happy can be. So happy that no one on earth can even imagine being that happy. Imagine that! It’s like two best friends who always, always, always agree to play the same game and always, always, always have the best time. Make sense?
D: Yeah, they’d be like the best friends in the entire world…like the best friends that could ever be…
F: Yeah…that’s a great way to put it… In heaven you and Jesus are the best friends that could ever be…
D: So what kind of stuff do they do in heaven?
F: Well, they love. They love all the time. They love God…they love each other…and they love us…and they also pray…
D: People in heaven still pray?
F: Sure they do…but they don’t pray for themselves anymore. They’re already in heaven, so now they only pray for other people, for people like us who are still on earth—just like Jesus does. Jesus prays for us, so they pray for us…. It has a big fancy word. It’s called “interceding”.
F: It means to ask the Father—Father God—to bless us, to be kind to us—to all of us still on earth—and to let us come into heaven when we die so we can live with Him, and the Father, and the Holy Spirit, and all of God’s holy angels and saints…forever and ever…
D: Wow, I really want to see what heaven looks like!
F: Me too!
D: And you’re old, so you’ll go before me, right?
F: That makes sense…
D: So when you go to heaven, Daddy, you can pray for me too, with Jesus…
F: Absolutely. (pause) (looking outward, nodding his head) (smiling) I’ll see Him face to face and be like Him…and I’ll be happy forever…and I’ll do all that Jesus does… (turning toward his daughter) And I will pray for you until the day you join us in heaven, for ever and ever… perfect happiness together… best, best friends forever…and ever…and ever…
(Smile. A big smile. In both directions)
F: (starting to get up off the couch) Ok, that’s enough heaven talk…heaven starts right now. Go have a good day at school. Be a good girl…listen…and have fun…that’s definitely part of your job here on earth. Got It?
D: Got it.
F: I love you so much…
D: I love you too, Daddy.
(A hug, a kiss, a quick blessing. Father and daughter exit opposite sides of stage)
Howard Hain is a contemplative layman, husband, and father. He blogs at http://www.howardhain.com
Follow Howard on Twitter @HowardDHain
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