Sometimes I hate being a writer.
Okay, sometimes I hate being a writer that attempts to be realistic.
Some background — I set a series of stories in a fictitious town in a very real American state. Because multiple stories trace the history and people of the town, it becomes a character as well. Therefore, I can’t just mention it; I describe it. For years now, I’ve had a wrong picture in my mind about this state and after being there and seeing it, I realized that I’ve been describing it falsely. I set the town in a region of the state that is uninhabitable because of lack of water. Whoops!
Currently, my writing has stalled because I have to relocate the town in another part of the state and that has not been as easy as it sounds. It’s the first three rules of real estate all over again: location, location, location.
At least I got a spiritual application out of it.
I think many non-saved people tend to look at heaven like a marriage ceremony with white gowns, harps, and clouds…of tulle. Therefore, hell is more like a reception which – to a giant swath of people – is way more fun than the actual ceremony. You know, dancing, drinking, carousing, open bar, lots of kissing and hooking up with desperate bridesmaids. Food.
In reality though, heaven is where the party is! One of the few descriptions of heaven in the Bible tells us that there is going to be a marriage supper of the Lamb as He welcomes His bride to Him. Plus there are all the other perks. Hanging out with Jesus, chatting up Mary and Elijah, hearing the stories of people from every tribe, tongue, and nation tell how they heard about the love of Christ and followed Him, and the myriad ways He loved, led, and provided for them. I work for a Christian ministry and I hear stories every day, and that’s only a handful of the believers throughout the world and throughout history that have seen a mighty and miraculous Hand at work in their lives.
Unfortunately, because he hates God, Jesus, the Spirit, and us, Satan wants to bring as many people to hell with him. Since he’s the lying liar of Liartown, he paints a picture of hell that’s not true. A place where fun-loving people can hang out with other fun-loving people. Or, it doesn’t exist at all, or it’s just emptiness, not really torment.
Except that it does exist. It’s a place of flesh-eating worms, and fire, and loneliness. Unfortunately, because we know so little of heaven, we have a hard time letting people know what it’s really like outside of receiving crowns and being with Jesus. Wait, that sounds incredible!
I was not happy the other day when I realized that I had set my fictitious town, NOT in a beautiful mountainous region, but in an arid, waterless desert.
A lot more people will be devastated when they realize that their underworld disco hall doesn’t come with a mirrorball. Don’t be one of them.