What Heaven Is Like

“Tirian had thought—or he would have thought if he had time to think at all—that they were inside a little thatched stable, about twelve feet long and six feet wide. In reality they stood on grass, the deep blue sky was overhead, and the air which blew gently on their faces was that of a day in early summer. Not far away from them rose a grove of trees, thickly leaved, but under every leaf there peeped out the gold or faint yellow or purple or glowing red of fruits such as no one has seen in our world. The fruit made Tirian feel that it must be autumn but there was something in the feel of the air that told him it could not be later than June. They all moved towards the trees.

Everyone raised his hand to pick the fruit he best liked the look of, and then everyone paused for a second. This fruit was so beautiful that each felt ‘It can’t be meant for me . . . surely we’re not allowed to pluck it.’

‘It’s all right,” said Peter. ‘I know what we’re all thinking. But I’m sure, quite sure, we needn’t. I’ve a feeling we’ve got to the country where everything is allowed.’

‘Here goes, then!’ said Eustace. And they all began to eat.

What was the fruit like? Unfortunately no one can describe a taste. All I can say is that, compared with those fruits, the freshest grapefruit you’ve ever eaten was dull, and the juiciest orange was dry, and the most melting pear was hard and woody, and the sweetest wild strawberry was sour. And there were no seeds or stones, and no wasps. If you had once eaten that fruit, all the nicest things in this world would taste like medicines after it. But I can’t describe it. You can’t find out what it is like unless you can get to that country and taste it for yourself” (C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle).

I confess that I didn’t really get heaven for the longest time. Whenever I heard pastors or other people talking about it, I had a hard time getting excited about it. Maybe it was the way they described it as a never-ending church service, or maybe it was just me being a dumb kid.

What opened my eyes to the glories of heaven was the last book in C. S. Lewis’ masterful Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle. He described the joy of heaven as that feeling you get when you realize that school is over and the summer has started. That was something I could grasp.

I still don’t pretend to understand everything about heaven, but I do know that whatever I can conceive in my mind or imagine in my heart falls so far short of the reality. The very best parts of this life — those almost perfect moments, those fleeting moments of thrilling bliss are but glimpses into the heart of heaven.

Whatever it is, I can’t wait to find out.

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