An eight year old in our church had some questions for me in an email. She asks better questions than many adults. So you all might be interested in her questions and my answers. The picture to the right is of the little girl and me prior to her losing teeth and me getting root canals.
Dear Pastor Chris
Happy New Year!
You may not know this, but I have email now. I got it on my eighth birthday in December.
I have two questions for you.
What if Jesus comes back and I haven’t lost all my first set of teeth yet?
How will I be able to know who my Manga (Grandma) and Aunt Alice are in heaven? Will they look the same as they did here?
Thank You for being my pastor and answering my questions.
How fun that you have email.
Though I am sorry to hear that your teeth are falling out.
I had 2 root canals this fall. I thought I was being brave. I only whimpered while the dentist was drilling. But then I got the bill and I screamed like a baby. It is sort of embarrassing looking back on it all. I am enclosing a picture that summarizes the experience. I recreated my scream experience. Study details in the picture:
- The shiny thing on one side of my mouth is a temporary crown. It will be replaced with something more the color of teeth.
- The nicer looking tooth on the right side is a permanent crown.
- (A later addition: these crowns have nothing to do with crowns in the book of Revelation).
- I have not shaved b/c it is a new year and I don’t like shaving.
- The thing on the left side of my face (as you look at the picture) is actually my blue-tooth cell phone dealie. It is not my ear.
- Blue tooth is a kind of technology your dad can explain. It has nothing to do with the color of my teeth.
- I brushed my teeth this morning. I don’t want any more root canals.
- If you look closely, you can see the reflection of the church steeple in my classes.
You asked about “Heaven” / the New Earth. I think we will all be young adults on the other side in the New Earth. Kind of like Prince Caspian was young again in the Chronicles of Narnia. This means that you will most likely have teeth. If you don’t, then we will make fun of you, but you won’t care because you will be glorified. But then we probably wouldn’t make fun of you because we would be glorified too. It will all be good in any case.
We better tease one another now in case we’re too cool for school in heaven and can’t tease any longer.
Your aunt and Grandma will look far different than you remember them. If you have pics of them young, take a good look at those. It will help you find them. But it will be only a short term adventure and you will find them and it will be so, so exciting.
Worst case, you will need to include someone like Esther (Esther 2:7) in your search. Your conversation, might go something like – - – “Esther, you are even more beautiful than I imagined.” She will respond, “Well, I always did look pretty good.” This won’t be arrogant because we won’t be arrogant. Then she will say, “I like your dimples though. I always wished I had dimples.” You will then talk about dimples at that point. My wife, Jamie, will probably come up in the conversation with Esther since Jamie has such pretty dimples.
You might ask Ruth too, if she has seen your grandma. Everyone will know Ruth (Ruth 1:16) and I bet she is very sweet.
Or maybe Martha (Luke 10:38-42). I would go with Martha rather than her sister Mary, because Mary is so relational that you might get slowed down in conversation. Martha will have her own stuff to do and will send you right on your way.
Back to Esther, if she wants to talk too much about your dimples, just say, “Hey, Esther, I’d love to stay around and chat. But I’m actually looking for my grandma. . .” You can then give some basic information about your grandma. Just network for a few minutes and the next thing you know, you be giggling with Grandma.
I’m being a little silly, but mostly not. Very, very soon (Revelation 22:7) you will see your grandma and it won’t be so much different than I am saying.
Of course, only people who are truly Christians will be together on the New Earth. I am thankful your grandma is with Jesus and that you believe in Jesus too.
Would you pray for me today? Pray that my back and neck don’t hurt and that I can get lots done.And pray that my teeth don’t keep falling out. It’s a bigger deal for a guy who is 50 when his teeth fall out than for a little girl who is eight.
Pastor Chris Brauns