It's a gut feeling; and for me, it rings true. We'll look up and there they'll be, two or three of our non-favorites, sitting across from us. And smiling.
Because of course on this occasion it will be a totally different encounter. They'll be bare this time: no titles, no ranks, no resumes, no biases, no worldly identities to barricade their hearts from visibility. So the meeting will call up a whole new response. Surprise! With all of the earthly armour gone, all is forgiven. Their beauty is apparent at once. We'll look over and see these vulnerable, innocent faces shining at us, and wonder how we could ever have missed seeing their glow.
It will be a Kodak moment, and then some. Our hearts will open like a flower and instantly we'll be waving them over. "Well, Hi! How ARE you? When did you get here? --Come over here and TALK to me!" All the old rancor will have vanished like melted snow, because of course it was never their naked heart that we didn't forgive -- it was all the stuff that covered it up and made it seem inaccessible.
But here in heaven, in the waiting room, it will be just like seeing an old, old, old friend - which in fact is exactly what they are. Probably it will seem a lot like the time we were travelling in Italy, feeling tangled in the strange threads of an alien language, and suddenly we spotted a neighbor sitting nearby sipping an aperitif. "SALLY!" we cried, "BOB!" jumping up from our chair -- the familiarity of their faces is more fulfilling than a box of Swiss chocolates. Next thing you know, we're all at a table together, chattering away endlessly about where we've been and where we're going. The sheer joy of a common language and a common street have temporarily wedded us -- even though at home we may have almost nothing in common, proving once again that everything, including happiness, is relative.
Just so, in the heaven place, we will welcome the fresh open faces of our previous nonfriends, which now look as delicious and available as spring. Gone will be our prior unforgivingness, and gone will be their catalog of defenses. With hearts unfenced, anyone can wander anywhere and find flowers. And even if we try to remember what it was that put us off when we knew them on earth, we'll fail. In the face of innocence, history evaporates. Awareness emerges in its place.
As I said, I'm pretty sure that's what's going to happen in heaven's waiting room. So for me, the trick is to start trying to see people with heaven's eyes right now. And sometimes it works, truly. I have moments when forgiveness washes over me and I'm clean of all judgment and opinion. At that moment I can see everyone, including the people I don't like, as baby hearts bopping along life's highway just like everyone else.
It's a great feeling to see people like that, especially someone who ordinarily makes us want to head in an opposite direction. So I work at it. I figure I'm practising up on something I'm going to do later on anyway, so why not get ahead of the game?
Think about it: wouldn't it be nice to arrive at heaven's waiting room and already know everybody in there is going to look like white violets? The angels in charge will know instantly we've been doing our homework.
Gotta get points for that.