First and foremost, being with Jesus, my Lord and Savior and best friend. To be in his presence, to listen to him and walk with Him….nothing could be better than that.
Secondly, I look forward to meeting other people. I’d like to ask Mary to tell stories about Jesus as a child. I’d enjoy talking with Simeon, Anna, Elizabeth, and John the Baptist. I want to hear Noah’s accounts of life on the ark. I’m eager to listen to Moses tell about his times with God on the mountain. I’d like to ask Elijah about being taken away in the chariot and Enoch (and Enoch’s wife) about his being caught up by God.
I want to talk with Mary, Martha, and their brother Lazarus. I’ll ask people to fill in the blanks of the great stories in Scripture and church history. I want to hear a few million new stories. One at a time, of course, and spread out over thousands of years. I imagine we’ll relish these great stories, ask questions, laugh together, and shake our heads in amazement.
We’ll each have our own stories to tell also—and the memories and skills to tell them well. Right now, today, we are living the lives from which such stories will be drawn. Are we living them with eternity in mind? We’ll have new adventures on the New Earth from which new stories will emerge, but I suspect the old stories from this life will always interest us too.
I look forward to reconnecting with many old friends as well as my mom and dad. I look forward to thanking C. S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer, and A. W. Tozer for how their writings changed me. I anticipate meeting William Carey, Hudson and Maria Taylor, Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Charles Spurgeon, Dwight L. Moody, Harriet Beecher Stowe, some of the Amistad slaves, and a host of others.
My friend David O’Brien is a brilliant man trapped in a body that groans for redemption. His cerebral palsy will be gone the moment he leaves this world for the present Heaven, but the biggest treat will be at his resurrection, when he will have a new body, forever free of disease. I picture David never having to repeat himself because others don’t understand him. I see him running through fields on the New Earth. I look forward to running beside David . . . and probably behind him.
My wife, Nanci, is my best friend and my closest sister in Christ. I fully expect no one besides God will understand me better on the New Earth, and there’s nobody whose company I’ll seek and enjoy more than Nanci’s.