Monday, September 03, 2007
My Big Convent in Heaven.
You can well imagine how discombobulated people become at the mere sight of a nun. They often manage to sputter out some kind of question or two about what it's like to be a nun.
People often sputter out inappropriate questions when they are surprised. They ask stupid things. For example, I once witnessed a lady at the grocery store grilling a young woman right there in the pickle aisle about the young woman's two children who were crammed into the shopping cart. The lady was amazed that the young woman had two children so close in age, a boy and a girl.
"They look like they could be the same age!" she exclaimed, as if it were any of her business in the first place.
"They're twins," the young woman replied, lifelessly. Sometimes, if you narrow your eyes and speak with no inflection, people buzz off.
"Oh!," the lady said, clearly relieved that there was some explanation that soothed her mind about this baby factory and her cart full of babies. "Are they identical?"
The most tedious questions I must field on a continuing basis have to do with the fact that I am married to Jesus. There are earnest questions. "Do you where a wedding ring?" "Why are you called a 'bride of Christ?" And then there are the slimy, insinuating questions. "If Jesus is married to all nuns, doesn't that make him a polygamist?" "Aren't you jealous?"
In answer, I narrow my eyes and intone, "Do you think you're going to heaven?"
"Yes," they say, "or at least I hope so!" (Unless they are born again Christians. Some of them have told me they are already penciled in for a spot in heaven.)
"Just you wait, then, " I say with a wry smile. I pop my eyes back to normal and clomp away. Nun shoes are fabulous for clomping away. The clatter of the giant wooden rosary hanging from my belt underscores everything nicely as well, I must say.
Which brings me to today's comment from a reader during our discussion for pets in heaven:
My concern when I get to heaven isn't about any pet - it's about my husbands. My late one and my current one - geesh. I hope they don't fight over me!
You can relax, dear reader. They won't be fighting over you, because all three of you will be married to Jesus once you are in heaven.
Are you polygamists?
Hah! (I'll confess that later.)
There are no marriages in heaven except everyone's mystical marriage with Jesus. You'll be yourself but you won't be 'boys' or 'girls' anymore, exactly, so it's all okay. You'll be happy to see your loved ones who have made it there and you will see them, but you'll all be busy together loving Jesus. You'll be able to do all this without having to worry about missing an anniversary or sending a check for your nephew's graduation and then having to stew because he not only didn't bother to send you a hand written thank-you note, he didn't even email that he got it.
When people ask me how I can stand to be a nun, to give up the things I've given up, I think about heaven. I won't have cable TV there either, I won't have a human husband or children that are mine, just like now. I won't be drinking Gin Ricky's or eating pate, all of a sudden. I'll have my own body in heaven, but I won't eat because I won't have to. I'll still be a girl but it won't matter.
And don't think for one minute that I don't know what everyone's really talking about when they mention "what I've given up". I know. I won't be doing that in heaven, either.
And neither will you.
So what I really mean when I narrow my eyes and flatly say, "Just you wait...." is...
"....because being in heaven is just like being a nun."
Clomp, clomp, clomp.