This little article about heaven is a sheer delight, a concentration of distilled wisdom seasoned with imagination.
Blamires corrects the prevailing view of heaven as an ethereal insubstantial abode: “Our education is such that many people tend to picture the afterlife as something less solid, less substantial than our earthly life, an existence in some ethereal and virtually disembodied state. In this respect, much current thinking is topsy-turvy. The one thing we can with certainty say about life in heaven is that it is more real than life on Earth.”
He concludes: “Whatever form your most moving earthly experiences of beauty have taken, they were foretastes of heaven. Wherever you have found lovingkindness in human hands and human eyes and human words, you were confronting Christ’s personality operative in God’s creatures. Since the source of all that beauty and all that tenderness is God, the full opening up of his presence before his creatures can be nothing less than the aggregation and concentration and intensification of every loveliness and every goodness we have ever tasted, or even dreamed of. All the love we have ever known in our relationships with others—all that collected and distilled into the personal warmth of him from whom it all derived, and he standing before us: that is the kind of picture that the Christian imagination reaches towards when there is talk of the ultimate reward of the redeemed. It is small wonder that mind and pen falter under the weight of glory brought to mind.”
This article originally appeared in ‘Christianity Today’ for May 22, 1991. Harry Blamires (born 1916) is an Anglican theologian, literary critic, and novelist, now retired. His friend, C. S. Lewis, was his tutor at Oxford University. He has written a number of books, including ‘Knowing the Truth About Heaven and Hell’.