"I've always heard there is a land
Beyond the mortal dreams of man
Where every tear will be left behind
But it must be in another time"-- from Another Time, Another Place by Gary Lee Driskell
Some thoughts on Heaven and "Lost"
(Bear with me. "Lost" was my favorite TV show of all time, and I'm likely to be ruminating on it for some time.)
Heaven. I've had varying thoughts on the subject in my life. I've always wanted to go there when I "shuffle off this mortal coil," but like the guy in one of my dad's old jokes, I didn't want to go up "in the next load."
But whoever said heaven gets sweeter as you get older and more of your loved ones are there instead of here, was absolutely right.
Death is scary, and heaven is a supernatural place--which is also a bit scary. We as humans are rooted in the real and the practical. Is it any wonder that whenever an angel appeared to anyone in the Bible, the very first thing they had to say was "Fear not"? Obviously people in those days were just as freaked out by the supernatural as we are!
But the older I get--the more appalled and repelled I get by the ugliness and the darkness of this world--the more wonderful and appealing heaven is to me. The Bible tells us there's no way to describe it to us earthbound mortals. I firmly believe that once we're there, we will marvel that we ever wanted to stay here.
So what does this have to do with "Lost"?
I'm the first to admit that "Lost" is lightyears away from being theologically correct, especially on how a person qualifies to gain entrance into an afterlife of celestial reward.
Our good deeds can never get us there. Only repenting of our sins and trusting in Christ's sacrifice on the Cross is our "shot at redemption"--and that gift is free to all who will take it, regardless of the enormity of their sins.
However...as I posted earlier, the final scenes of the show resonated with me as a Christian because they hit me, quite forcefully, with thoughts of what heaven will be like.
A place of reunion...can you imagine the joy of greeting and embracing loved ones who you haven't seen in years? (My dad, who passed away in 2004, immediately comes to mind.) The knowledge that all troubles and problems are forever finished, that an eternity of joy awaits? Mindboggling, when you really stop and think about it.
A place, yes, of Light. "... And the city (the new Jerusalem)had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof."
Just before Desmond was lowered into the hole where he would try to stop the destruction of the island, he told Jack that none of it mattered...that there was "another place" they could go to: "You know, you're gonna lower me into that light, and I'm gonna go somewhere else. A place where we can be with the ones we love, and not have to ever think about this island again."
For the cynic among you: yes, "Lost" is just a TV show. (Duh.) But the best entertainment serves not only to entertain, but to provoke thought and reflection...and that's what the "Lost" finale did for me.
"Lost" was all about other timelines, other realities. For the Christian, the ultimate reality, the ultimate flash-forward--will be Heaven.
I leave you with the lyrics of a song: "Another Time, Another Place," by Gary Lee Driskill, which I think sums it up very aptly:
I've always heard there is a land
Beyond the mortal dreams of man
Where every tear will be left behind--
But it must be in another time.
There'll be an everlasting light
Shining a purest holy white
And every fear will be erased
But it must be in another place.
I've grown so tired of earthly things
They promise peace but furnish pain
All of life's sweetest joys combined
Could never match those in another time
And though I've put my trust in Christ
And felt His Spirit move in my life
I know it's truly just a taste
Of His glory in another place.
So, I'm waiting for another time and another place,
Where all my hopes and dreams will be captured
With one look at Jesus' face
Oh, my heart's been burning,
My soul keeps yearning,
Sometimes I can't hardly wait
For that sweet, sweet someday
When I'll be swept away
To another time and another place.
(You can hear the song here and here.)
"The dream is ended: this is the morning"
Then Aslan turned to them and said:
"You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be."
Lucy said, "We're so afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often."
"No fear of that, " said Aslan. "Have you not guessed?"
Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.
"There was a real railway accident," said Aslan softly. Your father and mother and all of you are - as you used to call it in the Shadow-Lands - dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning."--from The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis