Last year we attended a Thanksgiving celebration with my husband’s extended family. There were cousins and aunts and uncles present whom we hadn’t seen in years. There were even some family members we had the privilege of meeting for the first time that day.
At one point in the festivities, I excused myself to check on my boys who were playing in a room out of sight and earshot from the main meeting area. I was headed down the hall with a mind to my mission when, quite unexpectedly, I felt a little hand slip into mine. I looked down to see an eight year old girl smiling up at me.
I knew who the kid belonged to, but I’d never been formally introduced. “Do you know who I am?” I asked her.
She shook her head no.
My heart pretty much melted on the spot. That cute little bug just thought I looked pleasant and wanted to hold my hand…so she did. Sometimes kids just have a way of making you feel special.
When I mentioned this encounter to someone later, their reply intrigued me—it was immediate and spoken with an amiable conviction, as though it was the most natural response in the world.
That’s how it will be in heaven.
Much as I hated to admit it, I did not see the obvious connection. I wanted to be able to indicate my agreement with a nod of deep and profound understanding; instead I cocked my head in confusion and asked for clarification.
The explanation was something like this:
Sin will no longer hinder us from feeling the full measure of God’s affection and delight. We will finally see who we really are—the beloved of God.
Neither will relationships between creatures in heaven be complicated with the hurts and insecurities that are borne out of affiliations in a fallen world.
It will be the assumption that everyone is fascinating, delightful, and uniquely valuable—including ourselves.
God thinks I’m neat. God thinks they’re neat. I think they’re neat. They’ll think I’m neat too.
That would makes it a lot easier to reach out and give the hand of a stranger a squeeze, wouldn’t it?
Kudos to that little girl’s parents! They must’ve done a good job letting her know how precious and lovely she is.