Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
- Revelation 21:1-4
May I indulge in a little fable. I know some of it is not true now and it might never be in the future. But then, do we know anything other than a few small glimpses of what is to come?
Once upon a time beyond time, an old lady died, and her guardian angel escorted her to Heaven. Her heart leapt within her when she first saw Jesus. He wasn’t like any of the pictures she had seen in her youth, but she knew it was Him.
Jesus said, “Welcome home, my sister.”
She embraced Him without saying a word. Jesus pulled back for a moment to look into her eyes, and He wiped away her tears, tears of Joy. He asked, “Do you like the mansion that I prepared for you?”
She had to admit that she had seen nothing other than His face, but then she looked around her. It seemed she had x-ray vision, because as she looked in each direction, the mansion expanded, room after room, nearly to the horizon in all directions, so many, many rooms. She turned back to Jesus and asked, “But I do not need all this. Why?”
Jesus laughed, “For every time that you deferred your own desires for that of another, I added a new room. But don’t worry. I have unlimited funds and I know how to be frugal. My earthly father was a poor carpenter, and he taught me a lot.”
She thought, “It will take me a year to dust everything.”
Jesus laughed again, having heard her thoughts. He had a melodious laugh. “Young sister, there is no dust in Heaven.”
Then a thought came to her. She said, “Lord Jesus, I preceded my husband here. He loved you so much. He must have a grand mansion.”
Jesus shook His head, “Not as big as this, but he will not be disappointed. Instead, he will be happy for you.”
She nodded, “He was always a quiet person. He never needed much space. He will want his time alone.”
“But he will not have that quirk in his character. He will throw large parties and gatherings in his modest mansion.” Then Jesus laughed even harder.
About this time, St. Peter walked by. He said, “Lord Jesus, you have laughed more with this young arrival than many others recently. Is it the usual issue?” Jesus nodded.
She turned to St. Peter and asked, “What usual issue?”
St. Peter smiled and said, “Rookie mistakes, but you will learn. After all, you will be here forever.”
I doubt if we will make rookie mistakes in Heaven, but if we could look back to this moment, while we are dreaming of being with Jesus forever, we might just hear Him whispering, “No, no. Think bigger. Think grander. Think more beautiful than anything you have ever seen or dreamt.”
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.