Letters to Tom — Heaven

Dear Tom:

I had a few random thoughts since we last corresponded. First, it has been all over the news that Stephen Hawking says there is no heaven, and to counter this an eleven year old boy and his minister father say there is, based on the boy’s near death experience. The father and son have written a book. I feel for Dr. Hawking and understand how being a brilliant scientist gives him media credibility, but his opinion is simply, that of one person. He offers no scientific theory to prove his point. Science has hardly proven to be the God we once hoped it to be, on whose shoulders we were all to be lifted further upward and onward.

If the media believes a scientist should give us guidance on the existence of heaven, perhaps it should read Einstein, who said, “The most beautiful thing that we can experience is the mysterious — the knowledge of the existence of something unfathomable to us, the manifestation of the most profound reason coupled with the most brilliant beauty.”

Second, do you get a sense that we are becoming intrigued with fewer and fewer things. That the primary focus seems to be on the tawdry and to continue to kick the “dead dog,” while the complex issues are just that, — too complex to explain, so we give them less and less attention. I sense we have a long to-do list, and we are only checking off the items that are easy and can be handled in a short bit of time. Sorry about this digression it has no place in my letters to you, but is something that concerns me.

Finally, do you remember mite boxes and thank offerings? It was part of the Lenten tradition in our church. You put a coin or two everyday in a paper box, and then on a given Sunday the boxes were all brought in and collected. Each child was supposed to fill up their mite box. I read the other day a sweet story about this. A widow placed a coin in her mite box daily. She said she did it at the first of the day because you never knew what might happen that you are thankful for. Being elderly, she said what you are thankful for is different than when you are younger. You might be thankful that you weren’t run over while crossing a busy street, or thankful for just getting out of bed. She explained that the habit of putting a coin in the box everyday was a daily acknowledgement to God that we were thankful for every day, every new experience. I thought as I read this what a great attitude.

Well friend, I bore you with my random thoughts. I promise to do better, but today I am just thankful for your friendship. Your friend, Webb

About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.


  1. Please don’t apologize for “random thoughts.” Yours are frequently the highlight of all the things I read in a day, and they are definitely NOT boring!

  2. Webb – Terrific comments. In my younger days I recall hearing an “older” fellow make comments that I thought were antiquated or “out of toch” with the current world, and as a result, somewhat discount their validity. Now that we are perhaps “that” generation I catch myself guarding my comments for fear of falling into the “geezer” category that gets discounted.

    Throwing caution to the wind I feel compelled to respond to your letter, especially the third paragraph about our current cultural views and priorities. I fear we, as a society, are drifting away from a more balanced, spiritually based lifestyle towards a life of increasing pressures to merely survive. There is no doubt that with all of the benefits of technology there is the risk of “overstimulation” if one cannot sum up the discipline to occasionally hit the pause button, or even the “power off” switch. As a result, I can get caught up in my busy-ness and neglect those exercises that in the past gave me peace (sometimes that passed understanding) and assurance that I am alive and connected to an all loving Higher Power. I guess awareness is the first step to a needed re-direction. Thank you.

  3. I agree with Louisa, Webb. I LOVE your random thoughts… they reinforce my happiness to be your friend, and they often challenge me to think in a new way about something. And Einstein! As coincidence would have it (is there really any coincidence?), I am finally reading a book that has been on my shelf for over 30 years – Einstein, The Life & Times by Ronald Clark. It is an arduous read, but the man’s genius and spirituality show through. One of his quotes is “Something deeply hidden had to be behind things.” Kinda says it for me.

    Your friend

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