Before we say goodnight to Prim, Mary and I take turns every evening to sit beside her and have “chat time.” For about 10 minutes, one of us hangs out in her room and talks about—well, whatever her three-year-old mind feels like talking about.
Sometimes we puzzle over what giraffes would look like if they were blue and lived in the ocean. Sometimes we talk about the adventures she had that day (or the ones she wants to have tomorrow). Sometimes she wants to hear a story.
And sometimes… sometimes she has questions about God.
Those are always some of my favorite chat times, because I can see the little wheels in her head turning. Those are the moments when I know she’s been listening to what Mary and I have been trying to share with her about God and His plan for us.
I forget what prompted it, but in one of those moments, I was explaining to Prim what Jesus looked like. I told her how His throne looked like it was made out of beautiful blue stone (just like her favorite color!), how it was surrounded by a rainbow (Ezekiel 1:26-28), how His voice was like rushing water, how His hair was white, and how His face was like the sun (Revelation 1:12-20).
She looked confused for a second, then asked, “How are we going to look at Him?”
Smart kiddo. She made the obvious connection—Jesus is coming back to the earth one day (to heal all the boo-boos and make people “not dead anymore”), His face shines like the sun, we can’t look at the sun for very long, so how are we going to be able to look at Jesus?
I had to explain that when Jesus comes back, He’s going make us like He is. We’re going to be able to do what He can do, and looking at something as bright as the sun won’t even bother us.
Prim said, “Ohhhhhhhh,” and nodded like she couldn’t believe she hadn’t thought of that herself. She thinks the idea of being able to fly is very cool. Once Jesus comes back, she plans to give Him a big hug, then fly to the Paw Patrol tower, followed by Mémère and Pépère’s house. (Priorities.)
But it got me thinking. We can’t really see the sun, can we? I mean, we know it’s there, and when it’s cloudy enough we can even glance at it for a few seconds. But even in those moments, we can’t really see it.
We can’t see what it really looks like. We can’t see the sunspots and solar flares that dance across its surface. We can’t see the radiation bursts and electromagnetic fields generated by its burning, swirling gases. We can’t see the 500 million metric tons of hydrogen it slams together each second to initiate the nuclear fusion that keeps it burning. We can’t see the gravimetric force it expends on the fabric of spacetime all around it.
We just see a bright circle that hurts to look at.
So much of God’s creation is like that. We see the colors that come from the wavelengths our eyes are capable of processing. We hear the sounds that come from the frequencies our ears can pick up. We feel, we taste, we smell within the limited, narrow band of stimuli that our bodies are designed to function in. Anything outside of that may as well be invisible to us.
The cells that make up our bodies are filled with microscopic structures built from atoms, which are made up of mysterious subatomic particles so small that the normal rules of the universe don’t seem to apply to them. We can’t perceive any of that—but it’s there. We can’t perceive the rotation of the Earth or the movement of the spiral arms of our galaxy. The physical universe, from microscopic to macroscopic, is filled with more secrets and wonders than we can possibly imagine—and our most advanced technology has just enough sophistication to show us that we were designed with the ability to perceive only a fraction of them.
That’s not how God sees the universe.
He can see the sun. Not just look at it without hurting His eyes, but see it. Every atom whizzing around in every nuclear-powered collision—every electron circling those atoms—every subatomic particle composing those atoms—He sees it all, knows it all, and has power over it all. He made it and set it motion.
And one day, when the seventh trumpet sounds and Jesus returns, we’re going to be transformed. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is” (1 John 3:2). That’s incredible enough on its own, but it’s not just Jesus and the Father we’ll be seeing differently.
One day, we’re going to see the sun—and the universe—like They do.
Won’t that be something?
Until next time,