Tuesday, September 2, 2014


It's hard to imagine God naked. Or ourselves naked, for that matter. But the truth is it's hard to imagine what anything is going to be like when Forever comes. Or even when tomorrow comes.

One of the cool things about God is that He promises things aren't going to be like this forever. Sometimes, that's a promise for Heaven and for the world to come. Sometimes, that's a promise for tomorrow and the temporal world. The trouble is that in a fallen state, we can't really imagine things ever being much different.

Think about Heaven for a minute. Think about the promise that we all share. What do you imagine Heaven to be like? If you're like most of us, myself included, you imagine Heaven to be pretty much like this except with no problems. And by no problems, you often mean...not the problems you have now. And by not the problems you have now, you very frequently mean...things will sort of still be like they are but it won't bother you any more. 


You'll have all the strength and all the joy and all the peace you need to deal with life however it is, and so it won't necessarily be that life isn't hard any more; it will be that life doesn't feel hard any more because you're going to be okay with it. What a shallow vision of Heaven! (And again, I'm condemning even myself here.) God never said about the world to come that "you're going to be okay with it." Is that Heaven? Could it even be? He said, "Things are going to be okay."

That means you won't need all that strength, joy, and comfort. You won't have to be okay with things because things will be okay with themselves. It's not that things are going to get easier; things are going to get good. Can you even let yourself think about that? Is there a way for our human minds to fathom what "good" even means? I don't think there is.

I don't think there is because I have tried. I know many others who have tried. And in all our visions of what is good, we hold a shadow of what is now bad. Good is comparative, not objective. It's an improvement, not an initiative. It is a renewing but not necessarily a restoring. That's tragic. I don't fault our fallen brains for not being able to conceptualize a world un-relative to the Fallen, an eternity where there won't even be an echo of time. I think we're sort of trapped in that. But I wonder what we're missing in our lack of imagination.

It's not always Heaven. Sometimes, God gives us a promise for this world and it's just as hard to hold onto. Sometimes, God promises to take something that's broken, something that's been broken for a very long time, and restore that broken thing in you. He leads you through the journey, takes you on the steps, calls you forward into something new. And I guarantee if you're honest with yourself, there will come a point in any restorative journey where you find yourself with the haunting realization that whatever this broken thing is, it's been your truth for so long that you can't even imagine what life would be like without it. You know in your head that it's going to be different, but you can't understand what different even means. You have no concept of it. You have no imagination for it. 

Whether that's because we can't imagine or we're afraid to let ourselves, I couldn't tell you. Maybe it's different for everyone. But I wonder sometimes what our lack of imagination is keeping us from. 

So what? What's the point? Or what's the answer? I don't know. It's just something worth thinking about, don't you think? It's worth wondering what we're not wondering. It's worth imagining a world in which we can truly imagine. It's beginning to think about fathoming the unfathomable and putting a vision to the yet unseen.

I don't know that we can. I don't know that it's possible for any of us to fully escape our fallen mind, our broken state. But I know this shouldn't keep us from trying to dream. It shouldn't keep us from understanding there is so much beyond our understanding and throwing ourselves into the process God has laid out before us, following His steps because we know they lead to somewhere beyond our wildest imaginations. It's hard when we don't know what that promised thing looks like. It's hard when we can't wrap words around it. Or even feelings. But He promises this:

It's gonna be good.

No comments:

Post a Comment