Do they have trauma healing in heaven? If they don’t…

Coming back from San Antonio, I’ve classic country tunes running through my head. One is Willie Nelson’s (check this) famous song, sung with a slur: “Do They Have Mogen David in heaven? If they don’t who the h*** wants to go?”

I’m returning from a full day discussion between funders and implementers focused on the Great Lakes region of Africa, specifically targeting the areas affected by the so-called Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). This brutal batch of psychopaths and thugs have disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of people throughout this region, and are famous because of their practice of abducting innocent children and turning them into violent soldier-victims. And I found myself wondering about the promise of heaven and what it would be like from their high-trauma perspective.

Specifically, I’m wondering how much of who we are makes it with us to heaven. When Christ told his fellow cross-hanger “Today, you will be with me in paradise” he said you. He didn’t say “a facscimile of you” or a “you different from who you are today,” he simply said you. Implied in that is that we come to heaven with who we are, otherwise it’s not you or me it is something else.

So if a child, abducted by these thugs, dies and is welcomed to heaven, are they coming with all their hurt and pain and memories? Because if they don’t, it’s not exactly who they were. If they do, then it seems like heaven would be quite a shock, and that it would take some time – perhaps eternity – to come to trust and love and accept wholeness and joy as being really, truly real. In short, it makes me wonder if joy can ever be found without an opposite to compare it against? Can love be experienced fully without having also experienced hate? And even if those things are abolished in another time and place and setting, won’t the rememberance of them cause us to better appreciate this new reality?

I suppose that some of you are fully capable of experiencing love without ever touching on its opposite. It probably says way too much about me that the comparison matters. But when I end up in heaven, I’m just curious how much of me will show up there.

[Perhaps not a coincidence that this was written while flying through a thunderstorm with lightning flashes all around!]

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~ by John Walter on March 10, 2011.

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