A slice of Heaven.
I don’t know where the phrase came from. But I know what it means.
Those times, those places, where heaven—the perfect—touches the imperfect of our earthly experience. The thin places between Heaven and Earth, life imagined and life known.
The wondrous. A unique, forever moment in time, joyful or broken, with a special friend.
The magical. The birth of your child, and the first time you held that precious gift of life in your arms.
The awesome. Trading the script of your past for a divinely ordained life of trusting Christ.
The holy. A worship experience when God spoke to you in a unique and revelatory way.
The majestic. A place of otherworldly beauty that arrests your attention and points you to Glory.
As long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to walk among the big trees along the Pacific Coast. Two weeks ago, by God’s gracious provision, alongside with my amazing wife, I was able to hike four and half hours among the giants of Big Basin Redwoods State Park an hour south of San Francisco.
Big Basin is California’s oldest state park, established in 1902, and the largest stand of old growth redwoods nearby San Francisco, our destination for a conference for my wife. There are trees over 2000 years old. There are trees more than 300 feet tall. There are 80 miles of trails full of wonder.
We did an out and back hike over a four mile trail. Nary a soul we saw over our eight miles. Me, my bride, my God, His creation. It was awesome.
Words. Pictures. Can’t describe. I walked in wide-eyed, open-mouth wonder. Wonder. Awe. Joy. Humbled by the immensity of my environment. Enjoying the company of my precious wife. Blessed to experience such rapture together.
About half way back a phrase came to mind. That phrase, from Scripture, as Paul quotes Isaiah 64:4 while describing the wisdom of the Holy Spirit:
However, as it is written, “No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God God has prepared for those who love Him,”—1 Corinthians 2:9
Reveling in God’s blessing us to be in that thin place, I remembered those words as I thought, “Describing this place to someone who has never been here is like me trying to understand Heaven. It’s so wholly other that words and pictures can’t even come close.” And then, later, I read the next verse:
But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.—1 Corinthians 2:10
God placed eternity in our hearts. He gives us the desire for wonder and awe. He creates wonderful and awesome places and experiences. He does it all to bring Himself glory. He does it in order that we might long for Him, and long for a place that is better than where we are.
We might, by His majesty or through His Spirit, taste a slice of Heaven now. But what is to come is so much...
Photos taken by the author in Big Basin, 9/11/13.