“I saw the common things drawn into the bright shadow.” – C.S. Lewis
I saw a photograph of deeply green forested mountains. Far away in one of the valleys was glimpse of a ferris wheel and colorful carnival tents. There were no roads, cars, or parking lots. It looked as if the only way to get to the carnival was to walk or ride horse through the woods.
The picture had a strong effect on me, a feeling that has occurred several times in my life. Has this happened to you? — It felt like an invitation, and a memory of something I hadn’t yet experienced. In C.S. Lewis’s book, Surprised by Joy, he describes experiences like this (which he says were actually very instrumental in his conversion from atheism to Christianity).
“…the memory of a memory…and before I knew what I desired, the desire itself was gone, the whole glimpse withdrawn, the world turned commonplace again, or only stirred by a longing for the longing that had just ceased. It was something quite different from ordinary life and even from ordinary pleasure; something, as they would now say, ‘in another dimension.’”
“He has planted eternity in the human heart” (from Ecclesiastes 3:11). And, C.S. Lewis again: “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world” (Mere Christianity).
My picture of the forest carnival set my imagination stirring about the parties of Heaven. God loves parties, festivals, and celebrations which is clear from a quick skimming of the Bible. As He also loves variety (clear from a glance a Creation), I believe there will be a variety of parties and festivals in Heaven. The Wedding Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9), which I am so excited about, will be the party to end all parties — and/or — the party to begin all parties.
There will be a New Earth to explore, besides a City of enormous proportions (about 1400 x 1400 miles (Rev 21:16 and see 1 Cor. 2:9-10)). This means, for party planners and goers, an endless variety of locations! Forests, beaches, mountain tops, riversides, city parks, ancient buildings of the City that will make what we know of Paris and Prague look boring and ordinary in comparison. (Remember, “the architect and builder is God”! Heb. 11:10). I’m guessing the whole universe will be ours to explore, as well, so go ahead and imagine a party among the stars. “Join us tomorrow at 38:31 among the twinkling Pleiades! Dinner and Dancing. Dress: Black Tie and Diamonds.”
I mentioned in my last post that I am hoping to be involved in the design of invitations for the some of these parties. I have been working on a sample invitation for the Forest Carnival party I’ve been thinking about, which I hope to have finished for a future post (The Parties of Heaven (part 3)).