At church, we're in the thick of an 11-week sermon series on the reality of Heaven. For those of you wanting to know just how real Heaven's going to be, I recommend C.S. Lewis's "The Great Divorce" - a road trip from Hell to Heaven in which you will see how absolutely tangible eternity is.
But this past Sunday, we were talking about how when we get to this other-physical realm, we will be endowed with new bodies. Unbroken, untarnished, unvulnerable bodies for the rest of forever. And I couldn't help but laugh because I know a few people who are waiting on that day.
I know a few people who are looking in the mirror right now and thinking, "Eh. I won't be fat forever. God will give me a new body." Or "At least I won't have to put up with this nose for eternity! My new body's going to be perfect."
Or will it?
I caution you to be aware that while Heaven will be perfect, it will also be unperfect. Not imperfect. Just unperfect. By our current definition of the word.
You might still be fat in Heaven. You might still have that nose. Every mental image you currently hold of Heaven might be absolutely backward or ingloriously wrong.
Heaven is not this place that magically fixes everything you're dissatisfied with in your present life. Heaven is not this future where you finally achieve the 'perfect' you've been looking for.
Heaven is the promise that perfect doesn't matter any more. That you don't have to obsess. You don't have to meet a standard. Heaven doesn't make things perfect; it is perfect.
It is perfect for you and what is perfectly you.
Perfectly you, as God created and intended you to be. Perfectly you, with your unique body and your unique personality and your unique love and your unique place. Your unique everything perfectly designed to contain you. After God breathed life into Adam and Eve, He didn't leave it to them - to genetics and science and sex and happenstance - to create you; He put just as much work into you as He did into them. He sculpted you from the very dust of the earth and breathed life into you. He created you to contain and encourage and facilitate everything about you. He didn't do all that so that we'd all get to Heaven and look, live, and love the same. He did that because there's something special about uniquely you. There's something awesome about divinely you. And one day, you'll know that there's something heavenly about unperfect you.
You may still be fat in Heaven. You may be stick thin. You may still have that nose you don't like or that gap-toothed smile or that mole on your eyelid or that stupid haircut. Or maybe stupider. In Heaven, you will be fully all that God created you to be, and your body will accentuate that, however that's going to look. If you could see your Heaven self now, you might groan. How hideously unperfect it might be! But when you get there, that isn't going to matter.
Because you'll understand that it's perfect and so will everyone else. And no one will be looking at you and judging how you look. There's no such thing as fat or thin or ugly or pretty or this or that or the other. Because you'll look absolutely full and beautifully perfect and completely unique and totally you. And that will be enough.
That will be better than enough. It will be perfect. By every definition of the word.
That's the glory of it, and frankly, I like that promise of Heaven better than the way we too often imagine it. I like the Heaven where I get to find out what I was really meant to be. How I was supposed to look. To walk. To talk. To live. To love. I like the Heaven where I get to discover every little detail that God created in me that was meant to make me me. I like the Heaven where I come face-to-face with the truest, most honest, most fulfilled version of me and the Creator who imagined and formed me.
So stop looking in the mirror and groaning about these days. Stop waiting on the Heaven you think is going to fix this - whatever the this in your life may be. Turn away from the place of Heaven and embrace the promise of Heaven - that it's all gonna make sense. It's all gonna be ok. It's all gonna be perfect even if not one hair on your head is different. (My eternal sympathies for those who wind up with an eternal stupid haircut. I promise to pretend I don't notice.)
It's gonna be perfect for the fullness of you.
It's gonna be Heaven.