Last week I had a very vivid dream. It was a dream of a place I long to go. In this dream, I was driving with others in a large passenger van through the worst parts of some unknown city. It didn’t feel safe nor the way the city was supposed to be. Soon we left the unsafeness of it all and came to a unassuming cabin in the woods. As we entered the cabin, I saw just how luxurious it was on the inside (it was bigger on the inside). All you could ever want was inside this cabin. You could pretty much live there forever and be content. Some people stayed there and not go any further; others decided it wasn’t for them and left.
I wasn’t content there. Something in me screamed that there was something more out there. Something bigger. Something grander. Something…other. And so, in the morning, I exited through the back door of the cabin and entered into a huge park. Green grass (wonderfully kept mowed) as far as I could see. The wind blew gently on my face, I could smell the sweetness in the air. I was a peace…somewhat. I wanted more. I needed more. In the distance I saw a city. A huge city smack dab in the middle of the park.
I ran to it.
As I got closer, I could see that there was something sticking up over the skyscrapers, something big and green. I ran by the banks of a river as I came closer to the city. The city was huge and beautiful. Not dirty, not scary, not unsafe. It was peaceful. I walked through the city streets, marveling at the beauty (that’s the only word I can think of to describe it) of the place. The architecture, the art work, the murals, the…everything.
And as I entered into the middle of the city, there was a giant tree. The river I had ran along the banks of was in the middle of the city and the tree was at its banks. The tree was ginormous. Bigger than big, taller than any redwood tree I had ever seen. The leaves were green, the fruit big and bright.
I looked around me. The tree was in the middle of a plaza, a city square. There children played and the elderly sat on the park benches, canes in hand, talking with one another as the children played. I marveled at the peace I saw, the peace I felt, the peace that was ever present.
And then the dream was gone. I don’t remember waking up. I don’t remember the dream ending nor beginning. I just remember the dream.
I do remember these words though:
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived–the things God has prepared for those who love him–these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
No eye has seen, no ear has heard what God has prepared.
I don’t know fully what the dream meant. It could have easily been my mind processing life events. At that time last week, my uncle lay dying in a hospital bed. I had read scripture with him over the phone and prayed with him. My mind could have easily been processing things for me. It could have been more. I don’t know.
But what I do know is this: As human beings we started off in a garden and we will one day live in a city.
My uncle passed yesterday morning. He taught me about rock ‘n roll. He taught me about the things not of this realm, the spiritual things, the spiritual battles that are being fought. We spoke a lot about that with one another. The last thing he said to me was “See you in heaven, bro.” The last words I spoke to him as I was at his bedside the other night was “see you on the other side.”
It’s not a place that’s out there, that’s ethereal and untouchable. It will one day be a place on earth. The heavens and earth will be made as if new again, no more dying, no more cancer, no more pain, no more curse. Like it was in the beginning.
We started off, we human beings, in a garden. In a garden filled with so many things, and Adam and Eve walked with God in the cool of the day. But that relationship was tarnished by sin, by Adam. And in that moment, life was changed. Sin entered the world–murder, mayhem, reality TV shows–and it wasn’t the way things were supposed to be.
God has promised something bigger, something greater. As I reflect more on that dream I had last week, I reflect more on what heaven will be like one day. And I want to reflect that here and now in my life. The new city, the city with the tree of life in the middle of it all, will be a place of redemption, of restoration, of justice, and of peace. It will be the place where once again we walk with our God in the cool of the day.
There is so much more to write, bu I’m close to 900 words already. No eye has seen no ear has heard what God has prepared for those who love Him. But what he has prepared is more awesome than I could ever dream.