Coco Calling: No. 21 - This World’s Not Heaven
The random thoughts of a Christian parrot
I spend a lot of my day positioned next to a large kitchen window. I love looking out over the lush green lawn and colourful flowerbeds, and I particularly like watching the wild birds. My owner attracts them into the garden with feeders containing sunflower hearts and peanuts, suet pellets and mixed grain. All kinds of birds visit us, including finches, sparrows, thrushes, woodpeckers, nuthatches, wrens, tits and pigeons. They all have their own style and character and personality. And they’re lovely to watch. There’s even a chubby Bank Vole that counts as one of “the regular diners.”
However, not all of the visitors are welcome. There’s always someone that has to spoil the party. And in our case, it’s the local Sparrowhawk that swoops in low over the hedge and seizes any slow or unsuspecting bird. It represents the cruel, brutal side of Nature, which seems at odds with the beauty and perfection of our natural world. And because of this one villain, all of the birds in the garden live on the edge of their nerves. Ready to take flight at the slightest sound or sudden movement. It can’t be much fun for them.
And not surprisingly, this makes me ask questions. Because the miracle of life hasn’t happened by chance. It’s all too intricate and detailed for that. So if we’ve all been made by a loving Creator, where does the concept of predator and prey fit in? Or let’s take this further. What about illness and disease? Natural disasters? Pain, suffering and bereavement? How can a loving Creator allow all this to happen? Have you ever screamed out the words: “Why should it be” or “Why should I believe in a loving Creator?”
And yet, despite all of this, and despite the Sparrowhawk outside my window doing untold harm to my feathered friends, I like so many others, do believe. When Jesus died on the cross, He probably only had a few hundred followers. Today there are almost 3 billion people (representing more than one third of the world’s population) that describe themselves as Christians. And that’s just humans, let alone the parrots! And it’s a figure that continues to grow. How can that be?
Well, the answer is quite simple really. Because a lot of these three billion people realise that for whatever reason, our earthly world will never be Heaven. Yes, it’s miraculous, but it’s also imperfect. In fact our world is so full of problems that it required a divine Creator to come to us in human form and rescue us. So that one day, we may all know the peace, love and perfection that is Heaven. We must never set our sights too low, and believe that our existence here on Earth is all that’s available to us. Because if we do that, we are missing out. And I mean, missing out big time! Because then we have no end result. No reason, or purpose to battle against the threat and menace that comes with Life. And God never wanted it to be like that for us.
So whenever I see the Sparrowhawk swooping down to prey upon the defenseless garden birds, it helps to remind me that this world is never going to be Heaven. Instead, our lives here serve as a stepping stone to the next world, which will be everything and more than we can hope for. Jesus is not abandoning us when illness, or disasters or suffering befalls us here on Earth. Instead, “a room” is being prepared for us in Heaven. Read John 14, verses 1- 2, when Jesus tells His followers:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.”
God and Jesus always knew that we all needed deliverance from this miraculous, yet imperfect world. And that’s what Jesus achieved for us all upon the cross. Our part of the bargain is to see and know what He has done for us, and to be grateful for it.