Monday, November 25, 2013

How do you envision heaven?

Revelation 21:4
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Do you ever wonder about heaven?  I let my imagination wonder.  Here’s what I envision:

I hope my room in heaven looks like the main reading room at the Library of Congress.  Rows and rows of ancient books line dark wooden shelves.  There are ornate ceilings, and lots of nooks and crannies with inviting views where I can snuggle up and read.  The lake is at my doorstep.  There’s a dock and a fishing boat and beautiful sunsets.  The Great Blue Heron soars across the water, and because it’s heaven we can talk to each other; he tells me about fishing and I tell him about my day.
There’s lots of time to spend with loved ones.  My little nieces and nephew come over every day.  We have story time together and then go out and play in the sand.  My childhood dog is there, tail whipping around and tongue hanging out as he pants a wet smile. 

Heaven is a place where disability doesn’t exist.  Personal care attendants will have to find a line of work.  No one is fed with an IV or syringe. No one eats alone.  No one knows what loneliness is.  Shame is no longer something people carry.  No one wears diapers or uses a wheelchair.  My friend Kris who was injured in a car accident is out playing football once again and my friend Krista, born with a rare genetic condition causing her bones to fuse is out winning beauty pageants; not just because her new body is stunning, but because her character is too.  My students who once had intellectual disabilities are earth are now solving math problems and teaching me things.  My students with autism haven’t lost their childish charm, but in heaven, they can finally speak!

 I have a whole closet full of high heels: hot pink, leopard print, but I think I’ll wear the red ones, at least for the first 100 years.  My feet will match because they will no longer be deformed.  No scars will line my legs.  I won’t have to manage fatigue any longer, suffer from back pain, or have an awkward posture.  My balance will be perfect; my gait will be flawless.  Maybe I’ll even take up running.  Maybe I’ll do it in my red heels.

I hope there will be lots of time for learning.  I want to sit down and have private tea with all my favorite English authors: C.S. Lewis, Paul Brand, J.K. Rowling, and Agatha Christie.  I want to pick their brains about their wonderful imaginations, plot lines, and spend time thanking them for the way their words carried me through life.  I want to take a graduate theology course from Paul the Apostle.  I want to learn about animals from the animals themselves.

I think there will be lots of time to meet people.  I hope we all have a reception line where we get to greet the people that impacted our lives and the people we in turn impacted.  I hope I’ll get to meet my ancestors as far back as I want, and spend lots of time with Grandma who left my life abruptly in 1998. 

In heaven, I won’t have to worry about seasonal depression any more.  There won’t be clouds or darkness to drag me down, but plenty of sunshine and endless light.  There will be times of quiet intimacy with God that are precious and also lots of time to worship together.  I think there will be lots of music and dancing.  Our pitch will be perfect and song will be rich and deep when we sing alone, but everything will come together when we sing as a choir, every voice fitting together like pieces in a puzzle, creating a masterpiece that fills the expanse of heaven.  We’ll want to sing and praise Him forever and ever.

And God finally will be with us.  We will touch him and he will hold us.  We will look into His eyes and He will stare back at us and in that moment we will finally know what it is to know and be known….how I long for that day!

In case the thought of heaven makes you want to sing, may I recommend this song?  Yours will Be (The Only Name) by Big Daddy Weave:

 1 Corinthians 13:12
12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

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