Imagining the End as the Beginning

Can you imagine it? Arriving in heaven. When the day comes, and our broken eyes with their dim sight cease to look upon a damaged world but rather unimagined beauty, a reality beyond our present reckoning.

I have.
I have.

I imagine it will feel like present waking. The few moments when consciousness grows and casts aside the wistful happenings of our vivid dreams. Of course, our lives will be the fading thing–our regrets, our pain, and our disappointments.  A life’s worth of hurt will be washed away by a flood of new reality.

And then I’ll see Him.

Him.

The one to whom I called in the darkness. The one to whom I owe my life. The one to whom I’ve come to rest. He’ll invite me to sit on a bench of stone amidst a garden of cloud and wonder. He’ll smile at me to assure me it’s real. It’s truly happened. I’ve arrived. I’m alive, about to begin an eternal journey, one for which I was destined since before time began.

But before I leap into my new life unending, he bids me come to sit and speak.

I have no words. I have no lips. I need neither. My soul speaks freely by an unknown means. Without the confines of language and caution, I communicate unbound. Tears–in whatever form they take–flow in rapturous joy and unrestrained worship.

In truth, I cannot believe I’m here. I cannot fathom that the time has come. It seemed long–the wait til now, yet I cannot remember the stuff of it, just the longing finally met, the satisfaction of “well done”.

I must be standing. He bids me sit. And when I do, he touches me, however souls make contact there. It’s a gesture of welcome and further assurance, blessed assurance, Jesus is mine. And so had he has been for many years, though I failed so oft to love him well. He stood beside, remaining long, abiding while I looked away or sidestepped right or left his side. He remained, ever true. Never failing, ever sure.

And I now I’m here. No sin to chide me, to pull me hither or entice.

Tis he and I alone for a time, before We join his Holy host. All I can think to say is “sorry”, to beg forgiveness for crimes forgotten, to seek absolution I’ve already received. He stops me quickly, rebukes me gently, no longer need I bear such thoughts. My faith was sure. My hope is secured. One end has come but borne a bright new beginning.
Then I will break in a new sort of way, when the truth of his presence finally strikes to the full. And I fall to my knees, no thought beyond gratitude, no expression beyond thanks and thanks again and still more.

Millennia pass as this outpouring comes, a surging flood of all I have–my longing, my praise, and all my love. And when I pause–but for an instant–a voice speaks gently into me, and I know it is time for the glorious journey, for my life to appear as it been held in waiting, ever-sinless, restored in full.

The gates beyond the garden open; widely swing the doors of grace. I pass through them to infinite pleasures, seeing glory all my days…
Can you imagine it? 

I have. 

Do you ever try? Why not? Give yourself a moment to be captivated by hope, then live life with the knowledge something far greater is coming–something beyond finite imagination. Something divine, without hindrance or barrier. Something so pure it cannot be known now. 
 
That is future for those in Christ. That is the truth for those in his hands. And that is the reason to live well and love better, because all that is coming will surpass all that’s been.
 
May The Lord see you all to His side, in his kingdom, and for his glory, 
 
Amen.
About C.J.:
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