Quasimodo, Georgia, and Florida

Hello there, happy little blogosphere! It’s been a good day. I woke up at 6:20 by literally falling out of bed when my alarm (“Just A Dream” by Nelly. Appropriate, right?) sounded, the vibration shaking the phone off the bedside table along with my barely alive—mostly dead–body. Ben and I have lately become night owls during this transitional period of our life, and since I quit my job, 6:20 AM and I have become something like Wile E. Coyote is to Roadrunner. In my humble opinion, the world shouldn’t exist before 8:30. How will I ever be a mother? Anyway, the 6:20 incident was because I had an early-morning dental procedure (sounds worse than it is—I had a cavity) awaiting me downtown. Well, at least the early awakening was for something fun. I wish I could wake up for cavity fillings every morning!

After I left the dentist office with my mouth looking like a gummy worm, I ignored the urge to go home and wait it out until my anesthetic wore off and made my very important first-of-the-month (that turned out to be the fifth-of-the-month–Que Sera) Walmart trip. After a minute or two with my visor mirror, I decided the only way to reconcile the horror of my Quasimodo smile was to decidedly frown for three hours (until it wore off), making the droopy side look less droopy. I discovered something. Two things actually: 1. Perpetual frowning is EXHAUSTING. 2. The exhaustion of perpetual frowning is just not worth it. I gave it up after a few minutes and again began smiling at the people I passed (one side of my mouth up, the other down—like this only huge: ~). They smiled back, but bigger than is typical, which suggests that Quasimodo Hannah makes people happy. One more reason why I should get cavities more often.

I teach the 3 & 4 year olds at church, and tonight will definitely go down in history as my favorite class with them to date. Their humor and enthusiasm was a breath of fresh air. Every time I’m with them, I hear something funny. Tonight was no exception to that rule. We were talking about Numbers 21 and the poisonous snakes God sent to bite those annoying Israelites that, for the 800th time, were complaining again. Little Georgia Claire, in all her sweet innocence, looked mortified and begged the question, “Why would God do that to them?!” I explained, “Well, Georgia, God was punishing them because they weren’t obeying Him. And if we don’t live for God, then one day He will punish us, but not with snakes. If we don’t obey God, it will be very sad for us because we won’t get to go to….?” I begged their response.

Without missing a beat, a very solemn expression came over Georgia Claire and she immediately nodded and answered, “Florida.”

Now, as a disclaimer, I think her mistake was adorable and hilarious, as I implied when I relayed this incident to her parents. But as I was telling Ben about it in the car, I said, “You know, there’s a lot of adults in the world that make the same mistake.” He smiled and nodded like he always does when I say something cryptic that only makes sense in my head. But really, isn’t it sad how many people are so focused on the short time we have on earth that to them, Florida (or whatever vacation destination they prefer) is about as Heaven as it gets. When you work hard, make money, and do whatever it takes to make what’s outward beautiful—all so you can feel and look amazing when it’s vacation time, or even retirement time—it’s easy to forget that our lives here really are only like a second compared to the life after.  It’s funny how people talk so much about their vacations—planning, scheduling, and afterward recalling with tons of stories and facebook photo uploads—but the time most people spend planning ahead for ETERNITY (never-ending forever and ever….and ever) is little to none. I’m talking to myself here, too. How unfortunate if the people who know us (Christians) have heard us talk more about “Florida” (or anything else on this earth) than our eternal home?

Little Georgia’s precious mistake was a good reminder for me that, while all the mundane things I think about (like cavities and Quasimodo) may seem important to me, eternity really will come like a thief in the night (Matthew 24: 42-44) and it will be much more shocking than my 6:20 alarm. For those who aren’t prepared, the punishment will be far worse than any of the horrendous punishments you read about in your Old Testament (like the poisonous snakes). He’s the same just, fearsome God…the punishment is just delayed awhile.

Am I ready? Are you?

Don’t make Florida your heaven. Trust me, it’s a gimmick.

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