As a Christian, I believe in heaven. As a pastor, I’ve studied and taught about heaven. As a musician, I’ve noted that almost every single hymn written has heaven the subject of its final verse.
When my dad died I didn’t really think differently about heaven. When my sister died I didn’t really think differently about heaven.
But when my 19 year old son died…
Heaven was real to me before Jordan became a resident. But now, it’s something altogether different. How can something become “more real” than “real”? I don’t know. I can’t explain it. It’s as though, in May 2013, a part of my soul took up permanent residence in heaven.
The veil separating heaven and earth, for me, became thinner.
In his brilliant sermon, The Weight of Glory, CS Lewis described heaven as “the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.”
Lewis wrote much about heaven. In Mere Christianity he observed, “If I find myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” And in his genius Screwtape Letters, based on correspondence between two demons, the senior demon, Screwtape, wrote to his apprentice, “My dear Wormwood.., the truth is that the Enemy (God), having oddly destined these mere animals (Christians) to life in [heaven], has guarded them pretty effectively from danger of feeling at home anywhere else.”
From John Newton’s “When we’ve been there ten thousand years,” to Andre Crouch’s soulful “Soon and Very Soon” and Dallas Holms’ reverent “I Saw the Lord” to Mercy Me’s “I Can Only Imagine”, heaven has filled the pages of Christian music.
And that brings me to what prompted this post.
I heard, for the first time this past week, Chris Tomlin’s “Home”. As I carefully listened to the lyrics of the chorus i had to grip my chest as my heart ached for “home.”
Hopefully, this reflection of mine has brought you encouragement and hope, and perhaps helped someone, for a moment, think about heaven, and that “this is not all there is.” Paul encouraged the Colossian believers, “…set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:1-2)
Allow me to close this post with one more of my favorite quotes from Lewis: “At the present, we are on the outside of [heaven], the wrong side of the door… But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so.”
Soli Deo Gloria, Nick