Year in and year out, I have one post that gets more attention than all the other ones. It’s one a wrote nearly three years ago. The piece is a vision of heaven, the hereafter, and the moments in between. It’s designed to give hope to those who go to rest in the arm of the Lord.
This year, as in the previous two, this will be my last post of the year. I pray it will bring you hope!
Imagining Heaven: The Day Without Night
I see a day – perhaps long in the distance or just yet to come – when I will stand between two worlds.
For the briefest of moments, when the sun finally sets on this side of the horizon, I will awaken to the dawn of a new day in the great just beyond.
In the momentary merging of these two worlds, I shall say farewell to those with whom I have journeyed thus far, even as I am welcomed into newness by friends and family who have already ventured into that great beyond. Those with whom I have journeyed thus far will likely be unaware of the reality that I am with them, saying goodbye.
In fact, apart from a general warming of their heart, they may not be aware of much beyond their own grief. Where I will attend to the greying of the worlds just before the white, they will contend with the darkness of a day enclosed by ‘goodbye and nothing more to say,’ all in one moment.
Friends who greet me will be filled with joy. A joy so brilliant as to cloak them in translucence, a wonderfully curious yet familiar lightness. This will fade for, in the grey that turns to white, they will reach out and touch me and greet me with a kiss. I will know them deeply, and by them I will be deeply known. These are those who would have been instrumental in my journey on earth.
They will lead me to a place before the final resting place. The halt before the stop.
It is here, in this moment that I will see Him.
He who has done for me that which I was unable to do for myself; He will greet me. We will not touch, for there will be no need. Rather, he will see, and he will see deeply. His eyes will bore me through. I will come undone. In a moment of eternity’s time all my shame will be laid bare, all my faults exposed. My sins will scream, and my fears unwind until the yarn comes undone, lays gently frayed on the floor.
I will be unable to right myself in the midst of his holiness. I will have no need to utter a word or offer my strength, which made me so proud in life before. No, my body will betray me, and I will lay until I am drawn.
And drawn will I be; lifted up by he whose eyes just bore me deep.
It is then, in this hallowed moment, when I will be accompanied to the river where eternal waters flow. I will taste the dew of their fresh wind-borne flight as I draw near. Yes. I will sense the cleansing drink, the hope restored. I will enter his arms and will be washed. I will be clean.
The cleansing will wrest old scabs from my sin-soaked flesh. This moment will bring pain in sorely needed death.
Death to he who was almost me.
Death to he who was always in need.
Then, in splendor, the majestic and ancient stories of old will conceive!
Pain will give way to wholeness and death will submit to life. I will be washed clean. Finally, at last. Fully human and wholly his I will be. I will long to reach for him, to hold him deep, as I have been deeply held many times before. But he will not be touched just yet.
For He will shout with joy, “Swim, my son; swim! Swim in the healing waters of eternity past and tomorrow restored! Swim, dive, and breathe – yes, breathe in the newness that comes with life always new.” I will swim and not fatigue. I will dive and not falter. I will go deep and breathe deeply as I go.
Then slowly yet surely, up through the chrysolite waters, will I burst. In a splash of radiant glory colored by the Son’s hues of hope, I will explode from beneath the waters of life. I will find myself fully human. In the day without night!
I will dance as I chase my heart, which hammers outside of my chest.
Drawn by the spirit enclosed in chariots of fire. The King enthroned! It is to him I am drawn.
In an instance, the roar will hush, and the angels will cease. I will be caught! In glorious applause will I stand – wholly and humble human – before the King who calls me to enter into his court. He will look through me to the Son. The Son will utter the words that fill my heart’s deep desire; “Yes father, he is mine. He belongs to us.” All heaven will be hushed; I will breathe a thunderous sigh.
In a whirlwind, I will be swept. I will be spun around; to glimpse all the kingdoms, nations and worlds yet to be. Robed in radiant color, my body will be whole and kingly. Clothes off-cast as creation displays her beauty. I will be shepherded into the world for which I was made. I will be lead by He for whom I was betrothed. I will be lead to a table banqueted for a feast.
Oh how will I feast. I will drink, I will dance, and I will be known – wonderfully, fully, intimately known. I will be wed. I will be loved. I will be loved with those whom I have loved. I will be loved with those who have loved me. I will be loved as I have always longed to be loved. He will love us. He will love us, one and all.
I will be prominently displayed in a parade of nations who pay final homage unto him. He will welcome in grandeur and glory and love even more. He will call me his bride. He will welcome me into a tomorrow without end, in which all of my truths will be known and revealed, and all my gifts will explode.
All will renew in the day without night; the love without restraint; the strength without pain; the life without death, the hope without end!
May it be so!