As a cold wind blows across the isle of Patmos, the fluttering of his soiled, tattered robe and grey beard goes unnoticed by a man lost in thought. He desires to return home, it has been many years since his first visit. He did not want to leave but faithfully returned with a message to give to others.
“John?” A tired voice steals through the whispers of the wind and waves. “I’m so happy to have found you.”
His concentration broken with a deep sigh, another visitor seeking what I can’t explain. How can my tongue describe it? All who read the revelation want to know more of what heaven is like. How can I blame them?”
Slowly turning, praying he can find words to portray what he saw though he has never found even one. Lord, perhaps today? In all my 90-plus years I have never found one. And I thank You.
His eyes brighten as he recognizes Tychicus, the one who took God’s letters to the seven churches and Paul’s letters throughout Asia. They embrace, two brothers in the Lord.
“What brings you back, Tychicus?”
“John, tell me about home. Tell me again what you saw.”
“You know I’ve never been able to fully describe it.”
“Try, John. It won’t be long now; I so look forward to going myself.”
“How else can I try to tell you? Words are inadequate.”
Tychicus had heard John’s story many times, something always bothered him though. He wanted to know why things looked so much different than on earth.
“John, you struggled trying to explain the beauty of heaven but what made them so unusual? You explained colors using terms of ‘like unto’ and ‘appeared as’. Yet you recognized them easily.”
Lowering his head, John attempts to picture them again. Why did they look different there than here, yet I knew what they all were? Looking into a red sunset reflecting off the water, he receives insight.
“Tychicus, what color is your robe?”
“White, of course.”
“Not now, my friend, look down.”
A small gasp escapes, his robe isn’t white but soft reddish pink. John smiles.
“Tychicus, I did not understand until now. Everything was so much more brilliant, beautiful, dazzling there…well, I didn’t have words to describe what I saw, but I can now give you a reason why they look unlike what we see here.”
“And, John, what is it?”
“Tychicus, we only see the world in earthly light. Your robe at noon is white but in the redness of the setting sun it appears slightly different and it will also when you enter a room lit by candles. We see what the light exposes.” John looks into Tychicus’ eyes: does he understand now?
“John, I believe I realize what you are saying: for in heaven all colors are revealed in God’s pure light. He is light!”
Laughing, they raise their hands to heaven and bless the Creator.
“And, Tychicus, I think I know another reason why things look different in heaven.”
“Are you meaning why things like gold are clear as crystal?”
“You mentioned a word describing God’s light. Remember what you said?”
“Of course, it was ‘pure’. Oh, now I see. Gold is not perfectly pure here but it has to be in God’s presence. You saw what gold really does look like when pure – it’s still gold colored but pure and crystal clear.”
John realizes the questions he had never formulated into words yet dwelt in the recesses of his mind had been answered, looking up, “Thank You Father.”
Together, “Amen and amen. Come quickly Lord.”
“John, tell me again what you saw. But you don’t have to use such phrases as ‘like unto’ or ‘appeared as’. I want to try and picture how the new world order will appear in God’s pure light.”
John sits down and closes his eyes; Tychicus follows.
Content with new understanding, “I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband…” *
*Rev. 21:2 (paraphrased)
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