We sat at the table the other night and the girls brought up the topic of Heaven. It stemmed out of a conversation about the meaning of the word “paradise”. And after cleaning up some six year old confusion about Paris vs. Paradise, one of the girls mentioned Christ’s words to the broken sinner on the cross. “Today, you will be with me in Paradise.” He said in response to the man’s belief.
“What will Heaven be like?” the questions arose with great curiosity.
“No one really knows beyond the Bible’s description of it being immeasurably more than anything good we could imagine.”
“No more tears,” Hannah piped in.
“Lots of food!” Came Abi’s response through her mouthful.
And then it hit me like a ton of bricks.
“Can you imagine what it will be like for some people here?”
Rachael caught my eyes.
“They will go from a life of disease, surrounded by death, no electricity, no running water, fighting for hope amongst abandonment and challenge and desperation STRAIGHT to the banquet feast of our Lord.”
A tingle went through my body.
I saw the light on Rachael’s face as we both had very real pictures flash through our minds.
Suddenly, I thought about the homeless man out on the main street a half-block over. He never makes eye contact, is always surrounded by cardboard and trying to make fire. His loins barely covered by a shredded rag. I don’t know how long he’s lived there. I don’t even know how he’s still alive.
I thought about the sea of chronic medical problems people live with here, from huge goiters to elephant legs and open sores. I thought about the tiny, emaciated bodies that fill the public schools and the swollen preschool bellies and pencil-thin arms. I thought about the reading group girls who come in a capulana (thin, colorful yard of fabric) tied over a naked body underneath. This is all they own. That very well may be all they’ll ever own.
Can you even imagine, church?! Can you even imagine their faces when they’re given new robes? When those emaciated hands reach out in a new flesh for the banquet meal? Can you even imagine when the homeless man receives his house? Can you even imagine when the chronic ill step foot into Heaven and feel for the first time a land where those is no more death, no more disease and no more tears?!
Oh church, can you even imagine?!!!!!
Brother’s, my hearts desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved… For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
–Romans 10:1, 13-15
May this truth permeate our very souls and open our eyes to His work laid before us. Oh the immeasurable value in all mankind that He would stoop down from the High places and rescue us into His arms.
Oh church, can you even imagine……