My first cousin lost her life to a drunk driver about a month ago. I didn’t know her well — we’ve always lived far apart — but I know many who did and those folks are in real pain. They’ve created a MADD team for a 5k in Nashville in June. You can support the team here.

My friend Jonna is dealing with the imminent death of a parent. She writes about it beautifully here.

There is so much that we misunderstand about death. It is painful to dwell on it. Husbands and wives refuse to do estate planning the way they should because of it. My concerns are more immediate though: How do I comfort my friends and family when they are in need but, more importantly, how do I comfort them correctly?

I am frustrated when I see people trying to provide comfort but doing it incorrectly. They say things like, “There’s another angel in heaven today” which makes me immediately want to correct them but I’m not really sure how. I’m fairly certain that just blurting out, “Nuh Uh!” isn’t the right approach. I’m equally certain the correct way to deal with this is not a theological exposition on the fact that Angels and Man are completely different creations and that transformation into an “angel” isn’t promised biblically.

Mostly, like most, I just ignore these things. I dunno, maybe for some it does provide comfort of sorts and maybe that’s okay. They’re not intentionally teaching heresy by saying these things (I hope) and I’ll admit that it’s a very sparkly “feel good” thing to say but at the same time it sort of horrifies me. Angels are beautiful warriors for God, they are His messengers, and that’s pretty cool but at the same time, it IS heresy and the Truth is even more beautiful. Why do we do that? Why do we pass over the beauty that is the Gospel to provide a little comfort in heresy… in a fantasy? Do Christians really believe this? Why do they believe it? If they don’t believe it; if they know the truth, why do they say these things? Why hasn’t anyone corrected them? It drives me nuts to know that in not providing reproof when it’s due I am part of the problem.

Jonna’s description of heaven in the link above is awesome. She knows that it is created out of her fantasy but knows that nothing discounts her fantasy. She imagines things that are beautiful and that might, maybe, fit into a correct description of Heaven. However, she also knows that no matter how perfect her fantasy it can’t match the glory that is Heaven. She knows (and admits) that she’s painting Picasso’s with crayons here and that’s ok. It’s beautiful and it’s one of the ways that she is dealing with her pain.

I dream of being with my mother again; of hearing her reproofs for my failures and of talking about her views on the few things that I’ve managed to get right. When I have the chance to sit with her and talk about our lives, maybe at a kitchen table much like the one that Jonna describes, I want to talk with my mom. The Glorified, Sanctified woman, not the fanciful cherubic angel which is, itself, a mixed up juxtaposition of two different creatures.


For an excellent read on Heaven check out the appropriately named book Heaven by Randy Alcorn.  It discusses much of this and answers a lot of questions not discussed here.  I haven’t read it but many folks that I trust continue to tell me how awesome it is and that I should. 

Of Angels and Men

5 thoughts on “Of Angels and Men

  • March 21, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Love that… ‘Painting Picasso’s with crayons’….

    I think we all have our own way of dealing with the idea that they are no longer here with us. If it means imagining him playing on a ‘heavenly’ golf course with Dirty Ed… then I say awesome!!

    I have to say… I’m a little nervous about that ‘talk’ around the kitchen table. Mine is gonna be more like a butt whooping. 🙂

    P.S…. I’m sorry for your loss. I’ll be running a 5K here in Colorado for her. <3

  • March 21, 2012 at 11:06 pm


    I agree and that’s the thing. You SHOULD remember him like that and you should hope for that in Heaven. And, yeah, you should be worried about that talk with Dad. :0)

    I just don’t dig the whole “turned into an angel thing”. It seems harmless enough but the bible describes it differently.

    P.S. You rock!

  • March 23, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I’ve heard the angel thing, too and have the exact reaction as you do… What a great post…thanks for sharing!

  • March 27, 2012 at 9:25 am

    The Bible clearly tells us what Heaven is like. But, I have to agree that just like on earth, our circumstances and living arrangements are a little different for each of us. I have recently heard of several cases where individuals were being led home by loved ones that passed on in years past. So the concept of the kitchen table seems pretty realistic to me. Father’s being called to by their deceased son. Wive’s being called by their deceased husbands. Clearly these folks are being welcomed to Heaven by those that have gone before them. Perhaps that is God’s way of welcoming them and reducing the fear of the unknown. And that the deceased gather at a table together is wonderful.


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