If ever I have my own Burpo moment, I imagine I’ll find things are similar up there in heaven to how they are down here. Well, maybe a few things will be different. In heaven they must sift out hunger and slavery and war, and absolutely there cannot be Twitter or James Franco.
But for the most part there’s such a lavish collection beauty on this earth I find it hard to believe heaven will top it. Though I am afraid, if there is a heaven and a certain population from earth do go, we or they or whoever is there will no longer get to enjoy – not in the way we do now – the most wonderful thing God ever made.
For a long time I did not understand. I thought, as a member of the fundamental non-denominational movement in the early 00s, the only thing that mattered – other than reaching others for Christ – was to find a hot chaste woman with shapely good-sized breasts to marry. Because of this, I never gave a heartfelt look to any backside during the years I called myself Born Again. I would’ve asked, if someone had pointed one out, what does it have to do with anything? And one of my more base brethren may have even said, “tits are for foreplay and the vagina is for sex.”
That’s crude, though a well-painted portrait to frame the mindset of those people, of which I once would have included myself. The face and bosom were front and center and the butt was in the back – where it took more effort to inspect – and because it didn’t have an integral role in the making of children, it played little part in finding someone who could turn us on in the biblical sense, so to speak. Maybe I write too broadly here. Perhaps I was just an naive idiot (hint: I was).
Either way I was wrong. But like Colton Burpo, I had an epiphany. Though I didn’t ascend to heaven nor did God speak to me, it was God not speaking to me – or at least me no longer speaking to Him – which helped me understand the things He made as padding were the greatest thing He ever made. I realized His greatest creation as I stopped believing He created anything at all.
Unshackled from the idea of hell, I first came to be with others. I did sexy things with them – my best attempt at sexy – without believing those things were sinful. And more and more I began to realize – embarrassingly a year closer to 30 than to 20 – that it was not the chest or the stomach or the neck I wanted, even if all those things are good and should be treated with respect, it was getting to know the bottom as a friend that made me ready to do what other people had been doing all those years while I was devoted to the God Burpo met face to face.
Though I didn’t realize their true greatness until I moved to Minneapolis. There I online dated and I don’t know if I’d been born earlier, or not seen as many, or had been married to the first one I was in love with, if I’d have grown such a love for God’s big and toned things, that I would have just thought of them as another extension of a body, which they are, but also are not.
A celebration of life is what they are. Unlike a face or legs or the chest, when you see a great bottom in the world and it drifts away – whether at a bus stop or a library – it can make you go into despair. Its lovely buoyancy, that you would have to watch it leave knowing you will never see it again, it make a man weep. Which I find fascinating, and, admittedly at times, sorrowful.
But if you’re like Burpo, if you’ve been touched by God, blessed with the gift of good buns in your life, then you’re lucky. If they’re like those on the one who dances in Drake’s “Practice” video or those on any number of athletes, or any other buns in the world which are perfect for you, then consider yourself lucky. Sure, Burpo went to heaven once, but you go every day.