One of the visions of our church this year is to enhance diversity to better reflect the surrounding community in Durham.  If you're reading this and you're not white, please click the following link to learn more:*

When mentioning this noble goal to increase diversity, our pastor referenced a verse about heaven:

Revelation 7:9 "I looked and saw a multitude too large to count, from every nation and tribe and people and tongue....wearing robes and holding palm branches and singing..."

I nudged my sister, leaned over, and whispered into her ear, "Be honest. Does that not sound terrible?"

She laughed only because she KNOWS I AM RIGHT.

To be clear, I'm referring to the robe-clad, palm branch singing. It would be helpful for me to know the percentage of time I'll have to devote to being in this choir after I die.

Sometimes I'm not sure how to fit the biblical descriptions of heaven into what I know to be true:

Heaven is Bliss. (Bliss - the Microsoft XP desktop wallpaper circa 1996)

From the moment I first laid eyes on Bliss, as a 9-year-old girl, I knew then and there I was looking at heaven. I've always imagined myself laying in that cool grass perfectly content and happy. (Apparently, I don't actually need to die in order for this to happen. I just need to go to Sonoma County, CA where this photo was taken).

In other related death news, my dog, Colby, died on January 2, 2019. It's been one of the hardest weeks, a very sad start to the year, and I feel completely empty inside.

I got Colby on December 6, 2007 at the Burlington Animal Adoption Center. I was young and broke. I had to call my sister, who was a teacher at a nearby middle school, and ask her to leave work so that she could come sign for me since she was over the age of 21. I also asked her to stop at the ATM machine on the way there, because I needed $100 cash to get the puppy.

After leaving the animal shelter, I drove to my sister's apartment with the 5-week-old pup zipped into the front of my grey North Face jacket. She peed on me, but I didn't care. Colby could do no wrong - ever - and that stayed true for all 11 years. As I was driving, the Colbie Callait song "Bubbly" came on the radio, and that's how she got her name.

The last lyrics of the song are "wherever, wherever, wherever you go..."

Which leads me to my final thought, one of my favorite quotes ever:

If there are no dogs in heaven, then I want to go wherever they went.

*White people can also click link.