As we finish our series called Afterlife, we end on the subject we’ve built up to over the last three weeks. In week one we talked about the guarantee of death, week two emphasized the reality of hell and the consequences of ignoring it. Two heavy messages that pushed us to the brink of depression. The last message in the Afterlife series changed our outlook like pulling up from the first drop on an electromagnetic roller coaster, the nature of heaven.
There is one explicit guarantee the Bible gives us about heaven, we can’t even conceive how wonderful it is (1 Corinthians 2:9). The wildest imaginations of the most creative people still wouldn’t touch it. My favorite description of heaven penned by William P Young in his novel The Shack. Young describes the main character’s observations of heaven as a rainbow of moving colors. Each soul in heaven generated light, as emotions grew stronger, so would the light emanating from the soul. For any Heroes fans out there, the Emma Coolidge character embodied what I imagine in The Shack’s description.
Emma Coolidge was an extremely talented cellist. Adding to her amazing musical ability was the fact she
was also deaf. Instead of hearing sound, Emma’s supernatural ability was that she saw sound (scientifically referred to as synesthesia). The more intense and emotional the sound, the more vibrant the colors. As her character developed, she learned to control those colorful sound waves by focusing and directing them in the form of a weapon.
This is the same kind of imagery I pictured when I read The Shack, waves of colorful sound dancing together, reflected in today’s drawing.
I aim to pull your eye with the same centrifugal force as our topics of discussion took through this series. Accomplishing this, today’s is the first drawing since I began making spontaneous visual translations where I use color. I sketched the drawing lightly in graphite during the service, but I pulled out the old Prismacolors and finished the drawing this afternoon. The page is a rainbow of colors overlapping and blending with each other. The swirl of color on the bottom of the page forms the symbol of infinity, representing eternity. A hand reaches down from the top of the page holding a lush new earth. The hand itself is part of the colorful background, defined only by darker values on the edges. This is God’s hand, delivering a new heaven and new earth (Revelation 21:1-4). In the new earth, God dwells with His people (v.3) and life flourishes without mourning, crying, or pain.
This is heaven, God physically living with us for eternity.