Helena and I stepped out of the darkness of the shaded woods and entered a world of colour. I held my breath at the sight before me. It was a though grand red curtains had parted to welcome a production on such a grand scale I could barely focus on one thing for long enough. What welcomed my eyes was an entire bustling village of nations gathering. Some people were walking alone, others gathering in twos, threes, groups and in crowds. Sights of traditional costumes, sounds of combined languages, scents of cuisines from all over the world. It was rich and alive, bursting at the seams with colour and sounds as though we’d followed the path of a pulse to reach the heart of the woods. And there it pumped, people flowing here, there and everywhere.
(from: Cecelia Ahern, A Place Called Here, beginning of chapter 18)
This passage literally took my breath away. This is how I picture heaven! Colours, sounds, scents. So much more intense than anything I have experienced or could even imagine. All the nations on earth. From huge empires to tribes long forgotten. And it’s not the empires as such, it’s the people. The people shaped by that culture and context.
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language (Revelation 7:9)
Everyone together. Not all the same, still distinct, unique. But without the strive, the prejudice, the fighting, even the petty misunderstandings.
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendour into it. (Revelation 21:24)
I wonder what that splendour will look like. I don’t think it’s just diamonds, gold and the like. In my mind, it’s each culture, each tribe, each nation the way it was meant to be. Untainted by selfishness, suspicion, sin. What will they bring, what will their splendour be? The Germans? The Americans? The Afghans? The Yali? The Roma?
But that’s just my theory. I would love for it to be like that! We’ll see.
PS Just to clarify: the context for this scene in Cecelia Ahern’s story is totally different to what it sparked in me!