Everything Sad Has Come Untrue

Having recently experienced the preschool version of Kids Club, my son Jack has been thinking a good deal about heaven. A few days ago he remarked, with a kind of dare-I-even-say-it grin, that in heaven he was hoping to have “a bed full of puppies.”

Yes, I’m a bit of a stickler for nuanced, accurate theology. And admittedly, I know of no passage in the Bible promising such a thing in God’s consummated kingdom. Still, I’m terribly pleased that Jack is thinking along the lines he is.

That’s because he’s beginning to grasp the fact that heaven, or more accurately, the new heavens and the new earth that God will eventually bring about (did someone mention theological accuracy!), will be an indescribably wonderful place. And in the marvelously concrete imagination of a four-year-old who displays unbridled joy at the sight of a dog, one can scarcely top frolicking on a bed teeming with playful puppies. Our imaginations, I sometimes think, grow up too fast.

In fact, this past Sunday reminded me of the benefits of seeing through “younger eyes.” Any adult who has thoroughly enjoyed Aslan or Harry Potter or a hundred other “kid things” will have experienced what I’m talking about. As a part of my family participating in a take home activity from this year’s Kids Club, we watched this multimedia version of a chapter from The Jesus Storybook Bible, a children’s Bible we enthusiastically recommend at The Crossing. It’s more than worth a few minutes of your time:

“Everything sad has come untrue.” Words like these are simple, suggestive, and beautiful. They rush past our often lifeless confession, shaking us awake to the immensity of God’s promise in the gospel. They rub the cynicism from our eyes, helping us to see clearly the glorious joy of what eternity with Jesus will be.

And this I think is a profound service. I say that because I happen to think that very, very few of us are, as the charge is sometimes made, “too heavenly minded to be any earthly good.” Rather I’m convinced that the opposite is true. We don’t think of the joy and wonder of heaven nearly enough. Because that joy and wonder is an encouragement amidst trial, an antidote to the world-weariness many of us lapse (have grown?) into. It is an impetus to tell others what is rightly called the good news. And it helps to make sense out of service and sacrifice.

For, as it turns out, those who trust in Jesus can look forward to not so much a happy ending as a new beginning, what one grown-up child once conceived as “Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the first.” (C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle)

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