"Daddy, do cats go to Heaven?" A question that was uttered the most in my house this past week. We have recently lost our family cat and the boys were processing through their grief. Although the boys did not realize how profound of a theological question this was, it was not lost on me.
The boys were asking because of their loss. They missed our pet and loved her very much. They did not want to think that their pet was lost to eternity, nor did I. Regardless of how you feel about the proposition that a cat can inherit everlasting life after spending nine of theirs down on earth, the question is not about the worthiness of the cat. If you dissect the question, it's about God and his infinite blessings and power. It's really about our feeble minds putting God in a box.
"Putting God in a box" is a phrase we often hear from clergy. We try to ponder/reason what it means to be God. We try to understand the limits of infinity. We forget we can't limit the limitless. Remember, angels teach us "For nothing is impossible with God," Luke 1:37. As children we can readily accept this premise, but as adults we won't. Limits are placed upon us as we mature. We learn there is only so much we can do as one person. The phrase "I am only one person" creeps into our lexicon. Hence, our limits start becoming limits we put upon God.
This is not true! Paul tells us in Philippians 4:13, "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." If there is no limits for us as Christians when God chooses us for his good, why would there be limits on God? God's love is limitless. God's peace is limitless. God, our Father is limitless. Christ conquered death to reaffirm the power of God to be limitless. This power, for us, is because the limitless grace bestowed upon us by that Easter sacrifice.
Getting back to the question at hand. Jesus promised us in John 14:2-4, "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, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." My understanding of this is that Heaven is limitless, like our Father. If our Father's house is limitless, why wouldn't the pets that we have loved be there too? Heaven, to me, is filled with love; I know my loved ones will be there with me. I know that the pets I've had, even as a little boy, will be there too. (There is no illness in Heaven, so allergies are not going to be an issue!) Tracy and I have answered the boys' question I mentioned in the beginning of this blog with an unequivocal "yes". As Christians, we can share this unequivocal yes with everyone for it is truly good news.