I hate the hairdressers. Not in a personal way just the fact of it. I hate having to try and make conversation so I end up feeling like an autistic savant who is auditioning for Rain Man as I occasionally bark out phrases like “The weatherman said it could rain by three o clock!” or even more bizarrely “I don’t think I’ve ever had my legs waxed!”. So I prefer companionable silence as I watch her cutting my hair and then blow dry it into a shape that makes me look like I am wearing X Men’s Magnito’s helmet. And, I suspect like many other women, I find myself thinking, “Never mind – I can do it how I like it when I get home.”
So then begins the game in my head which I have always played. Loosely titled – “We’ll have none of that in heaven”, it’s not a very interesting game. It’s just me making a list of the things I’ll be happy to see the back of when I get to heaven. This morning it was hairdressers. I’m not sure how it will work but I never get the feeling that there will be much hairdressing in heaven. Although in the children’s bibles I read a lot of the angels looked as if they had benefitted from a good body perm, I’m not really convinced that there will be much call for it. I would forgive you now if you were thinking about about that CS Lewis quote that says “if they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them” (Mere Christianity). Quite right. As I was saying, it’s thinking about the things that will no longer exist in heaven like war, famine, the cult of Katie Price and cankles. It can be quite comforting.
The is another, more beneficial, game about heaven that I play sometimes. My friend Mary worked it out and I developed it a bit. In the Bible, where Jesus says “In my house there are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you.” I also add mentally that my house will have a garden shed. And in that shed there will be a shelf. On that shelf I put in jars, all the things that have happened to me that I can’t understand why. Some are minor. Many are major. The most recent being the death of my brother. I know that I will never fully understand about that while I live on earth. I can then choose whether to allow this to affect me for the rest of my life and particularly affect the way I feel about God. Or, knowing what I know to be true about God in other things, I can put it in a jar, on a shelf in my heavenly shed, and get on with my life as best I can. I then know that one day, if I want to, that I will be able to take the jar down and ask a few probing questions along the lines of “what was that all about?”. In practice, I expect that I will be so caught up that I probably won’t bother. But I feel it’s ok to reserve the right to ask anyway.
Speaking of “What is that about?” I give you John Daker. I have no idea what is going on here but I demand that this man sings solo in our church this Sunday! Do not bother me again with your Tim Hughes and your Hillsong!