heavenly surprise

first few minutes in heaven cartoon drawing by nakedpastor david hayward

*** Purchase a print of this cartoon! ***

This is an oldie I drew a while ago and is quite popular. My views of heaven and the afterlife have changed. Actually, my heart and mind are far more at peace now that I’ve let a lot of my literalism go. Heaven is a metaphor for a deeper and more significant meaning, such as living a full life of compassion and unity with all beings and the earth now.

Eternity is held in a moment.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    I think that is a perfect depiction of how it will be.

  • Connie

    So, David, it seems as if you’re saying you don’t necessarily think there is an “afterlife”?

  • http://www.thirdoptionmen.org Evan

    Connie- pretty sure he’s saying we humans are judgmental, and will be surprised to see who winds up in Heaven.

  • tom wallek

    yes literalism will lead one to a different conclusion, yet that is why they seldom understood Jesus. I’m confident God is neither a lawyer or an editor.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    I’m not sure how to describe what I sense. I believe “life” continues, but its form is a mystery. I think religion does its best to use metaphors and symbols to describe a mystery.

  • Pat

    I love the one that says, “Where the hell am I?”

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    me too. my favorite.

  • Carol

    I believe that “hell” is a psychological/spiritual state rather than a place and that we make our own heavens and hells. True, we cannot always control our circumstances or how others treat us; but we can control how we respond to them, become proactive rather than reactive.

    Carol

    “To everyone is given the key to the gates of heaven.
    The same key opens the gates of hell.” – Richard Feynman

    It is senseless to blame others or your environment for your miseries. Change begins from the moment you muster the courage to act. When you change, the environment will change. The power to change the world is found nowhere but within our own life. –Daisaku Ikeda

    Whenever we seek to avoid the responsibility for our own behavior, we do so by attempting to give that responsibility to some other individual or organization or entity. But this means we then give away our power to that entity. ~ M. Scott Peck

    When you live in reaction, you give your power away. Then you get to experience what you gave your power to. ~N. Smith

    Human beings know many forms of slavery. In some places people live under political systems which are virtual bondage. Other people are hemmed in by economic systems which permit them no freedom of movement. Others find themselves suffering physical disabilities that restrict their mobility. But the worst form of slavery is slavery to one’s self and one’s passions. That is the way to solitary confinement, cut off from people and from God. Christ has given himself to save us from such slavery. –Richard E. Koenig, Christian Living Isn’t Easy: Studies in I Peter

    To be redeemed is not merely to be absolved of guilt before God, it is also to live in Christ, to be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, to be in Him a new creature, to live in the Spirit.
    ~Thomas Merton

    We all have the power to give love. And if we do so, we change the kind of person we are, and we change the kind of world we live in. – Rabbi Harold Kushner, also author

    “Discipline without freedom is tyranny; freedom without discipline is chaos.”
    –Cullen Hightower

    “Freedom is born of self-discipline. No individual, no nation, can achieve or maintain liberty without self-control. The undisciplined man (or woman) is a slave to his own weaknesses.”
    - Alan Valentine

    True discipline is interior and personal. It is something more than just learning a certain kind of conduct and possessing coherent religious justifications for that conduct. It is one thing to say that when I make a profound bow I intend to express love and adoration for God, but another to really grow and develop in that love and adoration. ~Merton, Thomas. Contemplation in a World of Action. (Notre Dame, Indiana: Notre Dame Press, 1998) 105 

    Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.–Gilbert K. Chesterton
    The moment we choose to love, we begin to move against domination, against oppression.
    The moment we choose to love, we begin to move toward freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others. – bell hooks

  • http://www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

    Steve, I get that you believe we’ll all be surprised. But in your version of the cartoon, are there also people wailing in shock and desperation at who they expected to see and didn’t make it? Sounds like heaven to me…

  • Connie

    Pat, when David posted this cartoon awhile back, I was like you. I loved the “where the hell am I” quote!

  • Shelly Galloway

    Thanks for the poke in the ribs and tickling my ribs. :-) I can see how some people would think this way here on earth…and then be ‘appalled’ that some predisposed ‘sinners’ were let into heaven. I imagine ‘god’ must have immense patience towards ‘his children’.


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