Can You Imagine

4 Jul

…”On Earth, as it is in Heaven.”…  One is where we are, the other is where we want to be.  One is ruled by Satan, the father of Darkness, the other is ruled by God, the Father of Light.  One is temporal, the other is eternal.  One is where Jesus, God’s only Son, experienced being Fatherless in His last moments.  The other is where Jesus was reunited with His Father and sits at His right hand.  These two places are entirely different.  But both were created for the purpose of bringing their Creator glory and praise, on Earth and in heaven.

On Earth, there are an estimated 143,000,000 orphans; there are no orphans in heaven.  Obviously, that is not saying orphans won’t go to heaven.  There was a photograph some years ago showing an abandoned child in the foreground, suffering from severe starvation, in a bent over squatting position with its head on the ground.  In the background was a vulture perched waiting for the child to stop moving.  If that child perished he/she will be gathered into the eternal arms of Jesus.  “Suffer the little children to come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”  Often God is able to move the hearts of people to become His hands in defending the fatherless of this earthly tumult.  Always, He attempts to move the hearts of people.  When He cannot and the vultures win the battle, God wipes away the tears in heaven and becomes the Father provider so that there will be no orphans in heaven.  Eternal adoption is complete.

It seems amazing that God willed a place in His plan of redemption for fallen man; to trust a man to become the adoptive father of His Son.  Maybe in God’s economy of heart that is what all parents really are; adoptive nurturers who just happen to have the same genes.  The Giver of Life trusts each created soul into the care of earth-bound mortals.  He trusts the supplier of the sperm and egg to care and provide for His new being’s spiritual and physical growth.  143,000,000 times that did not happen just within the range of our current time frame.  God’s compassionate heart breaks each time.  He remembers Mary and Joseph’s lovingly gaze upon their/His babe in the manger of Bethlehem.  It contrasts with the anguished cry on the cross, “Why hast Thou forsaken me?”  He is reminded in the suffering of each fatherless child, of the child He had to forsake for the atonement of man’s sin.  God gave His crowning creation the capacity to “adopt” the newly created beings.  He would trust their instinct for preservation of species instilled into all animal life.  He would trust that this preservation instinct could be honed to include the care for the eternal destination of the soul.  Human parents would want their children to be in heaven.  Soulless animals have no capacity for such higher reasoning.  But man was supposed to be special.  Man was supposed to be able to love.  But when we choose to leave God, we start behaving like animals.  In love’s absence only instinct remains.

On Earth.  …”Ye shall have tribulation.  But be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world.”  Can you set your mind on a plain to imagine what Earth would be like today if there had been no Adam fall?  Can you imagine the glory God would receive and share if Eden had prevailed?  Maybe God’s original creation was meant to be Heaven on Earth.  We can only imagine.  We have a sin nature that binds us to this Earth, to its time and circumstances, to ourselves and the pursuit of security and happiness, and we don’t often dare to imagine God’s perspective.  In reality we can’t imagine the vast gulf that exists between Earth and Heaven or the glory God would desire from Earth that He will receive in Heaven.  In reality we can’t imagine the enormity of God’s compassion when He views the fatherless of Earth and sees them perfected in Heaven.  Sometimes we come close.  We risk exposing our hearts and the vulnerability we sense is painful because the challenge of the suffering of the least is just outside that bubble of security we have built for ourselves.

In Heaven.  “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things which God hast prepared for those that love Him.”  Can you set your mind on a plain to imagine “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be”?  When those who are very rich try to imagine heaven being better than their earthly mansions, than the opulence of their terraced landscapes and manicured gardens and grounds, than the bounty of the tables and menus where they have dined, or the grandeur of destinations they have toured, is it hard to believe Heaven will be better?  Is it hard to endure sacrifice to get there?  When anguished orphans try to imagine heaven being better than sleeping on the streets at night at the age of four, or the squalor of an impoverished slum, or the feast out of a garbage can behind a four star hotel, or the grandeur of slumping on a desert wasteland watching a vulture watch you die, is it hard to believe Heaven will be better?  Is it hard to believe there is a heaven period?

When God breaks our hearts and makes us willing to become His hands and show these least enough love so that they dare harbor the thought of an eternally better place, then “on earth, as it is in heaven” becomes real.  That reality abounds for the hands.  We are blessed.  It abounds for the Creator because in those Christ filled hearts, He sees the glory of those created souls as He intended.  Love has won.  It abounds for the fatherless because they no longer feel forsaken.  Someone has come to their defense.  Each of us can share hope with hearts and become that “defending” someone.  Each of us can imagine.  It is easy if we try.

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