A few years ago, on another blog site, I wrote a series of posts titled, “When I Get To Heaven . . . “. Some of them were funny. Some of them were not.
(Well, . . . okay . . . so all of them were funny. But some of them were also thoughtful.)
They began with the words, “When I get to Heaven, I’m going to tell Jesus “Thank You”. I’m going to dance with the Holy Spirit. And then, after sitting in God’s lap for about a thousand years, I am going to . . . ” Then each of them went on to talk about the things I want to do when I get to Heaven.
Not long after eight sheep fled our field, crawled under our fence, entered our yard and ate a bed of my newly planted impatiens, I announced that when I get to Heaven, I will take Noah’s wife out for lunch to compare her animal stories with mine. What did SHE do when her husband’s bird pooped down her curtains? How did she respond when the pig joined HER family for supper?
During Spring cleaning that year, I stated that when we move into our heavenly mansion, I am sending a truckload of the useless crap my husband has collected over the years down south to a bottomless pit at the corner of Fire and Brimstone Streets.
In my favorite of the “When I Get to Heaven . . . ” blog posts, I wrote that someday I will stand on the balcony of Heaven’s Art Gallery and watch Jesus, the original artist and creator, paint an Autumn sunset. (I re-posted that piece on this website. You can read it here.)
In reality, I often wonder what Heaven will be like.
In The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis writes a picture of Heaven. Lewis’s Heaven is not a pristine, sterilized place with residents who are continually at choir practice. It is a place of beautiful intensity where blue is bluer and mountains are bigger and, “Every flower and blade of grass looks as if it means more.” The voice of its Jesus character draws its people further up and further in, declaring, “The dream has ended: this is the morning.” Lewis’s Heaven calls its people to adventure because, “One can’t feel afraid, even if one wants to”.
One can’t feel afraid, even if one wants to.
ONE CAN’T FEEL AFRAID, EVEN IF ONE WANTS TO!
When I get to Heaven, I’m going to tell Jesus “Thank You”. I’m going to dance with the Holy Spirit. And then, after sitting in God’s lap for about a thousand years, I am going to get to know the me who can’t feel afraid, even if I want to.
What would it be like to have no fear? No fear of pain? No fear of failure? No fear of rejection?
No fear of letting you see me?
While we were in our mothers’ wombs, God formed our bodies. He molded each of our inward organs and gave our hearts a beat. He counted the hairs as he placed them on our heads. He sculpted each of our fingers, placing a thumb in our mouths to comfort us even before we were born.
I believe that, with the same painstaking gentleness, He also formed our souls.
Before I saw the light of day, I was made to delight in the color of the sky. Before I drew a breath, I was destined to savor a storm. With his brow furrowed and his tongue caught between his teeth in an expression of concentration, God sculpted the essences of you and me. (This picture is circa my imagination. Don’t look for it in your Sunday School literature.)
But, then, we were born into a fallen world. Our feet landed on a soil that could not nourish us. In the battle between the innocence of our young souls and the thorns that grow wild here, the thorns drew first blood. Before we could get a good look at the souls God worked so diligently to create, we had built walls to hide and protect them.
When I get to Heaven, my wall will fall. And so will yours. Don’t you wonder what will be behind them?
When we live in a place where we can not be hurt, a place where we can’t feel afraid, even if we want to, what will we do that we have never done before?
You already know that I am going to dance. I’m not talking about your grandmother’s dancing. I’m gonna dance like this.
I might ride a horse with my husband . . . really, really fast . . . and I, who am allergic to several kinds of animals, will not sneeze on the horse . . . and the horse, which will smell like Heaven’s wildflowers, will not drool on me.
If I have wings, I am going to fly. If I have a voice, I am going to sing. If I have a purse, I am going to stuff it with chocolate.
When we live in a place where we can not be hurt, what will we see that we have never seen before?
According to several passages of scripture, God will give us a new name in Heaven. I know diddly squat about end-time prophesy. But I do know Jewish culture. In Judaism, a name is not a sequence of letters which refers to a person. It is a definition of the individual – a description of his personality and an interpretation of his traits. For the Jews who wrote the prophesy in the Old and New Testaments, a name would have been a word that encompasses the whole of a person.
I often wonder if the new “name” God will give me in Heaven is the original person of me He created in my mother’s womb. Will He return to me the innocence of the soul I hid to protect, the soul that, even I, never really knew. In Heaven’s safe place, will the softest, most tender parts of our souls come out of hiding and stand in the light of the Son.
Will I, for the first time, see the real me . . . unscarred and unafraid to be?
Will I see the real you . . . unscarred and unafraid to show me?