Through A Glass, Darkly

July 15, 2011 | 25 comments

She’s looking out the car window, up at a sky drifting all gray and fuzzy.

She sees right through to the holy. She’s seeking, always seeking, past the clouds, when I’m frozen in the fog.  

I wonder what it will be like, my daughter says.

What? I ask.


I turn on my blinker to change lanes and reach the exit ramp toward home. The other girl is buckled in behind me and blurts out the first answer:

“Ice cream with every meal! And I’ll never get hurt, so I can get a skateboard if  I want to! And we’ll stay up all night.” 

She’s giggling, giddy with possibility.

They’ve lifted the lid off the sky. There’s no turning back now. They’ve peeled back the clouds to  reveal the sacred. They’ve excavated the holy. And it tastes so sweet. Now that they’ve started, they can’t stop. 

Shelves of candy near the breakfast table. Rooms full of bunk beds. No tears. Rainbow streets and flying horses. And this: Justin Bieber music piped in anytime, anywhere. 🙂

“I wonder if we’ll have to stand in a crowd to see Jesus, of if we’ll get our own time with Him,” Lydia asks. “Or will we have to wait, like, 5,000 years, to have our very own dinner with God?”

I can feel it in my chest first, the Spirit quickening at the possibilities. 

Why don’t I think of it more? Why don’t I pull back the curtain and consider the wild and ridiculously wonderful promises that Heaven already holds? My sister says that maybe it’s because we can’t handle it. It’s so grand and glorious and wonderful and knee-buckling that our today-brains can’t handle the magnitude.

But just for a moment, on an exit ramp headed toward home, I can’t stop thinking about what it might be like. I try to see, but only through a glass darkly.

This much I know: I’m going to spend an eternity praising the eternal, Living God. And  I want to get a head-start while I’m here on Earth.

by | July 15, 2011 | 25 comments


  1. Julie Williams

    Nothing to say except… ME TOO!!!!!

  2. Megan Willome

    I had a heaven dream (trip?) when I was 7. I’ve been longing to go back ever since. That was awakened early this morning, watching the last Harry Potter at a midnight showing with my daughter.

    • dukeslee

      Oh my … I’m having a recollection of you having written about that heaven trip. Can you drop me a link?

  3. Deb Russell

    My daughter, Anna, has said there will be lots of horses and she will get to ride all of them whenever she wants. We have talked about this also and I agree … me too!!

  4. Michelle DeRusha

    Noah says mint chocolate chip ice cream all the time and white pine trees! But yes, I know what you mean — I don’t think of Heaven so concretely. It’s very amorphous for me. But having the boys helps me see Heaven on Earth.

  5. Tay

    Ahhhh…I love this Jennifer. Heaven isn’t really something I think about a lot, but I need to think about it. Especially in hard times!

  6. kendal

    amen and amen.

  7. Sheila Lagrand

    I love the way children aren’t afraid to dream, to hope…and to share it.

    Four-year-old Cadence was asking me this morning if Jesus really knows everyone’s names…”even strangers?”

    “Even strangers,” I told him.

    We’re both excavating in our posts today, Jennifer. But yours is yielding treasure and I’m dredging up muck.

    • dukeslee

      I do lots of “dredging” from time to time, too, Sheila. Sometimes, in the dredging, we end up unexpectedly landing on a beautiful discovery! I am headed over now to see what you’ve been finding, my friend.

  8. sharilyn

    i can’t imagine how light and free we will feel with the weight of sin, guilt, remorse, sorrow, angst, anger– all the negative emotions and scars we carry around with us–simply gone. perhaps that is why i don’t think we’ll need wings to fly in heaven! 🙂

    such joy!
    i love how the girls have translated that into all the delightful earthly things they can think of… candy, rainbows, and flying horses! 🙂

    thanks for the reminder, jennifer!

  9. Linda

    I confess I have thought the same thing – how long before I will get to be alone with Him – or how exactly will that work out?
    I love their sweet thoughts. We must learn to be more child-like and then, perhaps, we’ll see a little deeper into heavenly things.

  10. laura

    My boys went through a short Rollie Pollie Ollie stage and we used to sing this song from that show called “Totally Chocolate Dinner.” Yep. That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout. 🙂

    Oh, Jen. I know you’ve had a lot to bring you close to heaven lately. Still praying for you all. Sending so much love.

    • dukeslee

      A Totally Chocolate Dinner? Mmmm-hmmm. I’m counting on chocolate rivers, chocolate trees, chocolate fenceposts… I always thought that there was a certain God-metaphor to the whole Willy Wonka thing, personally. 🙂

  11. Michelle

    How wonderful to spend eternity praising our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus and there will be no more tears.

  12. Alleluiabelle

    “They’ve lifted the lid off the sky. There’s no turning back now. They’ve peeled back the clouds to reveal the sacred. They’ve excavated the holy. And it tastes so sweet.”

    Oh how I love your words…and the thoughts from your precious daughters.

    I’m standing right beside you my friend with my hands held high, with my heart exploding with a love so deep for Him that I can’t contain it. I want to get a running head-start right along with you.

    Thank you for always making me think more, love more, feel more and…so much more.

    Loving you and praying,

  13. Diana Trautwein

    Now that is one conversation I would loved to have heard in person. Those girls of yours – marvelous! And you, too, Momma Bear – you listened well, you reflected well, you joined your voice with theirs.

    I often found conversations while riding in the car to be among the deepest I ever had with my kids, especially my son, who after the age of about 12 really hated to make eye contact. So me driving, him sitting, both of us looking straight ahead -that helped the words to flow somehow…

    Continuing to pray with you for healing in the hearts and bodies of your loved ones.

  14. Missie

    There will be NO Justin Beiber music in heaven…lol 🙂

    • dukeslee

      I know… I know. 🙂 … I was pretty sure that a few readers might have this response, but I couldn’t help but share it. Thank you for your grace, Missie.

      • Sheila Lagrand

        I’m thinking since everything is perfect there, that those who wish to hear Justin Beiber will hear.

        And the rest of us will hear something we long to hear.

        • dukeslee

          Sheila! Big smiles here! Lydia and I had this same conversation. She said just what you’re saying here. I can’t wait to tell her in the morning. 🙂

  15. S. Etole

    Joining in the preparation with you …

  16. Laura

    Kids are such a blessing. It’s so easy for them to peel it all back. Oh, to be more like a child. And I’m with you on getting a head start now!

  17. debra

    No better daydream! 🙂

  18. Sheila Lagrand

    I went There and Back again, drawing on this post and the conversation with Cadence that I mentioned in my first comment here.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  19. Charity Singleton

    Jennifer —

    I missed this post a couple of weeks ago. I’m popping over from Sheila’s place to catch it before I’m too late!

    I love that your girls long for heaven; I don’t think I imagine the possibilities often enough. I also am wondering about your daughter looking forward with time alone with God. Makes me think my time alone with him here needs more anticipation and attention.


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