Yesterday my ninth-grade religion class--two girls and four boys--discussed heaven. We often discuss heaven, but this time it was actually part of the reading assignment.
One of the boys asked whether there would be any pain at all in heaven: "Like, if we're playing paintball, wouldn't it hurt just a little. To be fun. Ya know?"
Well, okay. I conceded the possibility: not all pain is bad, so there can be pain in heaven. But our experience of it will not be like our experience of pain here.
Then I dropped the bombshell: "Maybe heaven will be so beautiful that it will hurt just a little."
Uh. Faces dead as doornails. "Huh?"
Now, it is a near and dear maxim to my heart that True Beauty pierces--it makes us hurt a little. Our being aches with the beauty of a moment or thing or person. It had not occurred to me that perhaps that was a post-14-years-old moment in my life.
Then.... LIFE in the classroom! The girls awoke, "Yeah, like a beautiful piece of music." "Or a beautiful day." "Like Christmas."
They got it. And the boys.... never did.
Is the pain of love a more feminine intuition? I have no doubt that one day those boys will experience what I was talking about. But the girls got it first.