She was the daughter of a Civil War soldier. She passed away before she was thirty, leaving three little girls to grow to womanhood without her influence. Among the faded certificates of her birth, marriage, and death, there were no images of the young woman, nothing to show the color of her eyes, the style of her dress, or the way she wore her hair.
Then an old photograph turned up, an image of her sitting with her husband, their charming blond daughter between them, in a photographer’s posed setting. She held a book on her lap, her fingers keeping it open to a middle page. Her long skirt was dark with a striped pattern, her shirt buttoned to her chin and secured with a small brooch. Her hair was dark and curly, pinned back in late 19th century style. She had large eyes and a slender build. After all the time imagining what she and her family were like, the discovery of a faded old photograph revealed the secret.
Heaven is a place left mostly to our imagination as well, until the day we receive our eternal place. We can imagine the joy, and long for the perfection that leaves no room for pain or sadness. We can try to visualize the God waiting there to wipe every tear away from our eyes forever. But for today, God does reveal a glimpse of what we can only imagine:
Great bursts of light flashed forth from him as from a glittering diamond or from a shining ruby, and a rainbow glowing like an emerald encircled his throne. Twenty-four smaller thrones surrounded his, with twenty-four Elders sitting on them; all were clothed in white, with golden crowns upon their heads. Lightning and thunder issued from the throne, and there were voices in the thunder. Directly in front of his throne were seven lighted lamps representing the sevenfold Spirit of God. Spread out before it was a shiny crystal sea. Four Living Beings, dotted front and back with eyes, stood at the throne’s four sides. The first of these Living Beings was in the form of a lion; the second looked like an ox; the third had the face of a man; and the fourth, the form of an eagle, with wings spread out as though in flight. Each of these Living Beings had six wings, and the central sections of their wings were covered with eyes. Day after day and night after night they kept on saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty—the one who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:3-8
What beautiful imagery these verses in the final chapter of the bible bring to our mind. And what joy for Christ’s faithful followers that one day we will no longer need to imagine–heaven will be revealed.