Who Will You Meet In Heaven?

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Will you already know them or not?

Several years ago a book came on the scene titled, "The Five People You Meet In Heaven." For at least a year it was the impetus of conversations around the office watercooler, at cocktail parties, and among friends and neighbors.

The premise of the book is each of us will meet in the afterlife people who influenced our lives in ways we may or may not be aware of in our lifetimes. Some of them may be the genesis of situations we are born into. Some of them may be the genetic link that gave us the individual characteristics that make us the personalities we either embrace or wrestle with through the years. Some we may know. Some we may have never heard of or imagined.

The conversation that evolves for those who are lucky enough to read this thought-provoking novel usually progresses along the trek that leads to wondering who your "five people" might be. In accordance with my dominant personality traits, I hope at least two of mine are people I have no idea had any influence in my personal history. Just the surprise factor is worth having their identities revealed and learning how they fit into the puzzle of my familial fabric. You know how everybody in the state of Virginia can trace their lineage back to Robert E. Lee? Or think of all the believers in reincarnation who are absolutely positive they were Julius Caesar in a previous life. Learning someone significant in history had a hand in my backstory would be such a trip. Of course the odds are, just like the folks in Virginia and reincarnation advocates, I most likely only crossed historical paths with the town's mail carrier or some deadbeat still wasting away in the county jail.

I'd like to think one of those people I'll meet in Heaven will be a woman I never met in this life. My maternal grandmother died when my mother was nine years old. She only played an early formative role in Mom's life, but the loss of her affected Mom every day of her life.

I've seen some faded, black and white photos. I read some comments about her in a family reunion memory album. Her name was Goldie, which places her in the early 1900s. She died before she was thirty. She never enjoyed indoor plumbing, or electric washers and driers, or refrigerators. She had five children on a coal miner's pay - two sons, my mother, and two more sons. She didn't live to see one of those sons die in World War II. People say my older sister seems to look like her. Where I'm from we say my sister favors her. I'd like to know if I do too, in some way. Her blood runs in my veins and I can't tell you her middle name.

The other four people I'd meet in Heaven might well be obvious choices: a memorable English teacher, an early childhood friend, the boyfriend who got away or almost did, a pastor who preached only one sermon I heard but that I still remember almost word for word.

In the book the five people the protagonist meets all made significant contributions to his life. One he hardly remembered. One or two were the people in his life who meant more to him than the air he breathed every day of his life. One had haunted him.

It's an interesting read, but it is also an interesting concept.

Who might your five be?


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Comments 21 comments

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Great Hub and a fascinating concept. This will require some serious thinking on my part...I only know one mane right off the bat, who has had an enormous impact on my life and thinking, although I never met him. (He died the same day President John F.Kennedy was assassinated.)

Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis. Certainly his many accessible books on the foundational tenets of Christianity influenced and deepened my faith. But of equal importance were the novels of his Science Fiction-Fantasy trilogy: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra,and That Hideous Strength.

Although reasonably easy to read, these books are full of spiritual truth, mythology, etymology, and essays on art' literature, propaganda, the role of science, the perils of human arrogance, the purpose of education and much more.

The genius of Lewis is that on the first reading, the reader is not aware of being educated or challenged. They simply enjoy some incredibly good story-telling. It is on subsequent re-readings that the layers and complexity and depth of his work becomes clear.

I do not know who my other four would be, but I hope that one of my five would be C. S. Lewis. Thank you Kathleen for posing a question that would lead me to think about the value I found in his writing. SHARING.


BlissfulWriter profile image

BlissfulWriter 4 years ago

I've read the book "The Five People..." Great book. I always liked "thought-provoking novels".


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Authors who have influenced me is a category I hadn't thought of. That does open a whole new avenue of thought for me also.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I'm hard put to name a novel that has triggered as much thought as this one. Thanks for commenting.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 4 years ago from Shelton

whta a fanatastic share.. I don't remember reading that book.. but I did get it as a gift.. now Im going to look for it.. hmm thanks for the share


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Frank, you are in for a treat - a short one, but still a treat. It's a rainy Saturday morning kind of read.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Kathleen

I don't believe in the premise of Heaven so I can't pick any.

My opinion is that there can be no continuation of the life on earth.

If there is a Heaven it can't bring in any earthly baggage.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

ib radmasters: Many people ascribe to your belief. I guess the main reason I like to think there is life after death is because I always want to know, not only how a story ends, but the twists and turns that leads to the end. If I get hit by a bus one day and that's it, I'd hate to think I'll never know any more than I did before. Merry!


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Kathleen

That would be nice, but think about the seven billion lives that are here on Earth, and how would it be possible to make Heaven a continuation of those lives.

Many people have tragic lives and they wouldn't want to continue it in Heaven. For those that have a great life on Earth, how would they continue it in Heaven where every one is the same.

The things that we like about our lives on Earth don't fit into Heaven. Husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, children, friends etc. don't fit into a uni-being who has only one function in Heaven. That function is to put God above everything else, the entire time will be devoted to just serving God, there is no time for a self.

Also how would the decision to be made for someone to even get into heaven? Would it be fair for people that only at the last minute in their lives would turn to God so they would get into heaven.

Where is the dividing line between getting into Heaven and not getting into it?

BTW, even according to the Old Testament, Heaven didn't keep all of Angels. They served God, and they were in Heaven, and yet that didn't compel them to stay.

What do most people think it will be like in Heaven?

Thanks


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

You have taken this hub to a higher level. I hope some folks will respond and contribute to this conversation. I'd be interested.


ib radmasters profile image

ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

Kathleen

Me too


Gawth profile image

Gawth 3 years ago from Millboro, Virginia

I have not read the book but I did see the movie and that movie has caused much personal reflection. For several years I have thought often about the very question which you have proposed. I still have no answer. If the six degrees of separation is a legitimate theory we will have a lot of people to meet I think it could really take an eternity of research and review to find out who we really were/are. I want to read the book. Thank you.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Gawth: If I've encouraged you to read this book - my work here is done! You'll thank me later.


KCap profile image

KCap 3 years ago

I read the book and saw the movie and loved both. But I never really thought about who my 5 people will be. You've got me thinking now! I just finished reading the Timekeeper by Mitch Albom. Have you read that one? It's not my favorite of his books but definitely thought provoking and unique. If you've read it, I'd love to hear what you thought of it.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

KCap: Timekeeper is now on my short list. Any progress on at least one of your five?


KCap profile image

KCap 3 years ago

I have always been curious about my great Aunt. She committed suicide two weeks before I was born. She had battled with depression and back then antidepressants were still kind of frowned upon. I've heard my family tell stories about her all my life and have always wondered what she was like. Maybe one day I'll get to meet her


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

I hope so. I think it would be interesting to meet the people who helped to make you who you are - especially the ones you aren't aware of their influence. My mother passed away last month, and I take solice in believing the first person she met in Heaven was her own mother who died when she was only nine years old.


Theater girl profile image

Theater girl 3 years ago from New Jersey

I have not read the book....I might after this, but I know at least three people:

My childhood friend who was tragically killed when we were six. He would be the first

My cousin Debbie

My grandfather

beyond that....I would want to be with loved ones that have gone before me....so I guess my list is not complete so to speak.

Thanks for making me think!


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Theater girl: That's what the book does - make you think. You can read it in a morning but it is very thought-provoking. Thanks for your list.


Anna Haven profile image

Anna Haven 2 years ago from Scotland

I have never heard of the book but I like anything that makes my brain work! Interesting concept and hub.


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 2 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia Author

Anna: You are in for a treat. Love to hear your thoughts when you've read it. Enjoy!

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