May 28, 2010


The following quote is taken from The Last Battle, by C.S.Lewis. It's taken from the end of the book,where Peter and Lucy and Edmond are leaving old Narnia, headed for a new land. Their hearts are heavy, because they're leaving everything that have known and loved about Narnia. But then, when they begin to step into New Narnia, they realize that it's different, very different, but that in some ways, it was the same. It was their old Narnia, but it was new. And then, he explains:

"It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time there were somehow different -- deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know.

The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can't describe it any better than that: if ever you get there you will know what I mean.

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then he cried: "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that is sometimes looked a little like this." (The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis)

This passage is taken from the last book in the series of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis. I have been listening to a series of sermons about heaven lately, and the pastor read this passage at the end of one of his sermons where he had spoken about what heaven might be like.

I find it interesting how the average American (and probably European too) has this concept of heaven that is extremely influenced by Hollywood. We think of fluffy clouds and floating and pansy looking angels and golden gates with apostles walking around, tablets in their hands, reading off their list who is allowed into the pearly gates.

I honestly don't think this concept of heaven could be more wrong. Since earth was created as the original paradise--God's original intent toward a perfect world--it's so silly that we assume God would make heaven be so different from what he originally created as a perfect earth. From what the Bible says about heaven, it will be earth redeemed, possibly much like this passage from The Last Battle hints at: very similar, but all together different from the earth we knew before.

I get so excited thinking about walking through heaven and seeing places that are familiar, but perfected. A new earth, created by a forever-good God who loves us more deeply than we could ever fathom.

I love the thought that we won't stop creating or doing what we love to do once we reach heaven. We'll still have holy work that we will participate in because God created us to do things: to work with our hands, to create, to write, to be artists and teachers and writers and lovers of literature and explorers and animal lovers and gardeners and singers and musicians. I love the thought that I might get to write forever in heaven...or that I'll get to keep learning about who Jesus is, a God that I don’t think we will ever grow tired of hearing and knowing about. I'll get to hear stories of the saints that lived on the earth in the beginning, or in countries I never got to visit. I love the thought that I'll get to be friends with Andreza, the little girl I support through Compassion International. Or that I'll get to introduce my husband to my mother and watch her delight in him, and him in her.

I love that I'll get to worship with believers from every nation and tribe and tongue. There are so many mysteries to the picture we are given of heaven. Who knows how it will work. But we know that it will be amazing. It will be everything our hearts have ever longed for here on earth. It will be God’s dwelling place. We will live in his presence. It will be our REAL home, and my heart will finally find rest in the presence of my Lord, Jesus Christ.