Thursday, February 07, 2008

No Eye Has Seen

This is a composite picture of my great-grandparents - on the left, their wedding picture - on the right, their 65th anniversary picture attempting the same pose. For a number of reasons I'm thinking about time and eternity, and those thoughts brought this picture to mind.

If I were to be handed a jumble of wedding photos and 65th anniversary photos of various couples to sort and match, I don't think I'd be able to identify this couple as being the same two people.

Time is an odd thing. We wake up every day and look in the mirror, and we don't see the change from day to day, but as days compound into years, which then compound into decades the change is profound. That's just part of being temporal creatures - beings that live inside of time and have our lives doled out to us second by second.

Earlier this week a friend and I were talking about Heaven, you see, her dear mother had just passed away Friday. Of the many things we talked about was how we would recognize people in Heaven. I only knew my great-grandparents in their old age, but their parents and grandparents only knew them in their youth. Now that they are in Heaven, outside of time, do they look like they did on the right or on the left or neither or both? Is there some spiritual quality about us aside from our looks that will allow us to recognize each other? My son asked this question years ago when my grandmother passed away, "Will I recognize her in Heaven? But if she looks old like I knew her, then how will her parents recognize her? What do we look like in Heaven?"

We don't know the answer to that question. Our being is so defined by time that we can't imagine what it will be to be outside of it. We can't imagine Heaven, but we do know Heaven will be wonderful - more wonderful even than we have the ability to imagine. As it says in
I Corinthians 2:9:

No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him.

To the Lucas family:
"May God comfort you at this time and bring you peace, resting in the truth of I Corinthians 2:9."


Amelia said...

I recently came across a current picture of an old friend, and wasn't sure whether or not it was really him. The passage of years had altered him quite a bit. Then I looked closer, and his eyes were unmistakable.

Even if the next realm returns us to our youthful appearance, the knowledge and depth in our eyes will surely remain. I have no doubt that we will recognize those we know and love.

Heidi said...

Now that you say that, I remember the poetic statement that "eyes are the windows to the soul." I think the poets know what they are talking about! :-)

I do have an idea about the questions posed in this post, but it's mathematical in nature. I'm trying to figure out if I can express it well in a post or not. It's something that makes a lot of sense to me.