Heaven through the eyes of a child

By Jessica Brodie

Once in a while, I get the opportunity to speak about writing to kids, which is one of my favorite things to do. Kids are incredible—like sponges of raw, authentic creativity, soaking up the world with fresh, open eyes and offering in return such beautiful insight when we take the time to ask them about it. As a creative person, it makes my heart soar.

But last week blew my mind. I had the chance to talk about how we can worship God through creative writing to four groups of elementary-aged kids at a morning worship camp at my church, Mount Horeb United Methodist Church in Lexington. These 80 or so kids were absolutely brilliant! In the four half-hour classes, not only did we talk about writing as another way we can love God, but the kids got to write down their own words to describe heaven through their five senses.

Their responses were phenomenal, and in a stroke of Holy Spirit-led genius, I jotted down their responses while we were talking. At the end, each half-hour class had collectively created their own poem about heaven. I was so proud of them, and they seemed really proud of themselves, too.

I couldn’t have come up with this stuff! One girl said heaven must taste like gator meat, while another said chocolate brownies and ice cream. One boy was certain everyone would be singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in heaven, while a few kids were convinced we’ll hear the rush of water and wind and the tinkling of bells rung by the angels.

What really impacted me about their responses was knowing some of these kids. See these kids weren’t all from well-to-do families with two parents, seemingly immune to hunger, brokenness, abuse or pain. Some of them were, but others were from extremely difficult circumstances: broken homes. Poverty. Fear. And yet hope spilled from their mouths—hope for what will be, even if it is not reality now.

I’ve put together their responses in one big beautiful creation I’ve titled “Heaven Through the Eyes of a Child.”

Life can be hard and full of strife, and right now it’s especially full of strife for United Methodists, as we bicker constantly over our theological differences about sexuality, social justice, immigration, inclusion, what is and isn’t sin, and more.

But spending that chunk of time with kids talking about what truly matters—God and eternal life—brought to the fore what is really important. Let’s hold onto that.

Here is their poem:

Heaven through the Eyes of a Child
A Poem created by Mount Horeb UMC’s Kids’ Worship Camp 2019

Heaven tastes like cotton candy, sunshine and brownies,
like pizza, unicorns, and candy canes,
chocolate and doughnuts
watermelon, sweet pineapple,
and rice.
Heaven is like gator meat and ice cream,
Sour Patch Kids and candy,
cake, fruit, and bubble gum…
all happiness.

Heaven feels
like clouds…
peaceful, soft, and fluffy.
Soft like puppies,
soft and peaceful.
Like cotton candy and fluffy clouds,
cotton, blankets, and poodles.
a strong golden palace
of cushions, clouds, and air.
Like stuffed animals,
all soft, squishy, bouncy, and

Heaven smells like
a soft rainshower
or a vanilla candle…
like strawberry juice and blueberries,
chicken, McDonald’s, and ice cream,
cotton candy
and warm spaghetti dinners.
Heaven smells like Febreze and freshly baked cookies,
a God-smell, like doughnuts and my room
all nice and clean.
Flowers and lavender
cinnamon cupcakes
hot, buttery popcorn
and lots and lots of candy.

Heaven sounds like
like angels singing and
birds chirping.
Like bunnies eating carrots,
people and parties,
cats and dogs,
peace and quiet.
Heaven sounds like
people cheering and angels cheering,
everyone singing hallelujah and “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Heaven sounds like
birds chirping and bees buzzing,
trumpets, whistles, and laughter
God’s voice,
the wind,
and the Holy Spirit.

Heaven looks like
and Jesus
and awesomeness,
the lion and the sheep sleeping next to each other
sunsets and the sunrise
God and Jesus on their thrones
family and hugs
angels, clouds,
and my dog.
Heaven looks like
God and Jesus and my family,
Moses, Noah and Daniel,
angels and unicorns.
A golden palace with a stone wall, towers,
castles and clouds all around us,
golden walkways,
goldfish and pandas,
and God at the

—Written by the Worship Camp at Mount Horeb UMC, Lexington, July 23, 2019, with assistance from Jessica Brodie

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