I’ve got a robust imagination when it comes to envisioning Heaven. Ask my friends: they’ve heard all my crazy theories about our future home — from how old we’ll look to what kind of dinosaurs we’ll ride. Looking forward to Heaven is one of my favorite pastimes, and a not-so-secret way to be happy in Christ.
Jesus told his disciples he was going to prepare a place for them. Maybe with his own hands! He was a carpenter, right? I’ve heard some people say he was a stonemason. Either way, he’s qualified. He made the universe, too, so I have no doubts about this house:
In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and I will take you to myself, that where I am there you may be also. (John 14:2-3)
How could we not wonder about this house? Did he design it room by room? Did he consider our tastes? That’s what a good designer does, after all, and Jesus is the best. Did he build the frame, hang the molding, lay the carpet? Does he keep the light on in the hallway?
I love to imagine!
Rooms with beds as real as the one I’m sitting on right now, as I type. Rooms where we feast, hold hands around the table. Rooms where we meet at the piano, sing, and try to write music that hasn’t already been written. Rooms where we gather by the fireplace and talk into the early morning hours, maybe about some of the stupid things we did. The foolish things we believed.
This is the stuff of happiness.
Where does your imagination take you? Will you live close to me? To Jonah? To Nicodemus? Are pets allowed? And if so, will my room be big enough for a stegosaurus? Maybe the walls will be made of paper, like in Japan. Or maybe they’re stucco, coated with bright colors, like in Mexico. Some might be lined with logs, like a cabin in the Rockies. I think there will be hints of every culture throughout the house to reflect the diversity in which God delights. Especially if it’s going to be a house for those “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9).
This house isn’t a symbol. It exists in time and space — made from matter. It’s where we’ll live with the saints and God himself, when Heaven and Earth become one — the thrill of the new, fused with the familiarity of the old. Even better than Eden. I can’t imagine, and yet I still try.
But no matter what it looks like, no matter how he designs and decorates it, and even if I don’t know for sure whether we’ll be able to teleport, or fly, or walk through walls, I know the most important thing: Jesus will be there. “That where I am there you may be also.” For that reason, the house will feel like home — and home is where we’re happy.