Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Glimpse of Heaven

There are two things on this earth that set my mind and heart longing for Heaven: funerals of the saints and baptisms. I don't take joy in funerals, let me be clear. I've had too many of them in the past year to think they are anything but heartbreaking. But as I reflect on the persons life and where they are now as well as the the pain they are no longer in, I find joy and am filled with an intense longing to join them.

Baptisms, however, are another thing entirely. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something about corporately saying, "I recognize you as family now. I see that you belong to Christ,too. And how about we walk this life together?" that just makes my heart sing. I attended a baptism this past Sunday while I was home and I had this moment of intense longing. It was for so many things wrapped up together, but mostly it was a longing for Heaven, for the saints that have gone on before, for the sweetness of resting in a place where I truly belong. Have you ever had that, a longing for something you've never known? 

I was reading "The Hobbit" this week and ran across a section that explains it perfectly: "Then something Tookish woke up inside [Bilbo], and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick."

See, Bilbo was perfectly content to stay home in his safe little hobbit hole, away from danger and adventure because that is what hobbits did. It was all he knew. The Tookish part of him, the side of family that had had adventures in the past, was stirred with thoughts of far off places and adventures in the unknown. I think our "Tookish"-ness is the part in us that recognizes how out of place we are in the world. We are content because it is all we know. But every now and then, we get a glimpse of what might be, what will be, what is waiting for us on the other side.

And maybe, this is just for me. Maybe something in me likes to hide under the material nature of this world and my moments of clarity is a bit of truth awakening me to the fact that my focus is off center. And maybe, I just need to be reminded that this world is not the end, that there is hope and a future for me. And it includes a huge family that loves to jam and eat together. And that is something I am looking forward to doing. Even for the rest of eternity.