Can we talk about hell? I mean really talk about it? Seems as though this is a missing word in circles where I roam. Maybe it’s just because I myself don’t bring it up either. Why?
I remember having a conversation with my father. He is a man who knows scriptures and can easily overrun me with them. I was pushing my food around on my plate trying to understand what he was sharing with me. He’d had a health scare and started looking into the existence or should I say non-existence of hell as we perceived it.
My dad has been a Jehovah’s Witness for 40+ years. He kept trying to tell me hell was simply sleep. Inwardly I was disturbed by this doctrine that hell is laying in a grave alone, but he is my dad? He is a man who has been reading scriptures for decades and gone to so many services it is a lifestyle he gives all his time to. Who was I but a baby Christian in his eyes and my own? I knew he’d often been disappointed I didn’t come into the fold of JW ministry. To honor my dad I tried to listen until finally my spirit’s grief could be held back no longer. I spoke, “what it looks like I can’t answer, I just know I don’t want to be there!”
There is constant discussion of its description using many translations of the bible. Inwardly I think on much simpler terms. Jesus spoke of this not being a desirable place for us to exist. I believe Him and that seems enough for me.
Looking back I don’t really think my dad ever meant to share hell wasn’t real, he was just curious to dispute what it looked like. He was bold enough to share his thoughts with me. Maybe I missed the bigger point at the time of our conversation; his love for me to even speak about hell openly.
Why am I not bold enough to share with those I love and care about? I talk enough about love for sure, but perhaps I also need to love enough to talk about hell in a conversation…