A homeschooled high school student wrote this story as one of the exercises taken from Creative Freewriting Adventure.
In The Wise Woman, George MacDonald introduced the idea that what we will look like in the life to come is inextricably linked to our actions and our character (what we do) in this life.
So, let's imagine for a moment what eternity might look like if C. S. Lewis and George MacDonald are right.
- What might happen to the outward appearance of those who consistently, though imperfectly, consider the interests of others?
You enter the gates of heaven and are greeted by a woman you recognize from life on earth. She had been robust with a faint mustache and oversized nose but always had a kind word, especially for those she perceived to be feeling sad.
What does she look like after investing her life setting aside her own desires to reach out and serve fatherless children and grieving widows?
What does she say?
The trip to Heaven was just as fast as I had imagined it would be. In the blink of an eye, my spirit was whisked before a mighty gate.
I instantly felt warm and light.
I immediately wanted to sing. I spontaneously wanted to dance. I surprisingly wanted to … laugh?
Before me stood the most amusing scene … a scene that had been so familiar to me on earth as a child, but now seemed comical here … comical, but infinitely beautiful.
THE SAME BUT DIFFERENT
For, sitting just within the bounds of Heaven, sat Mrs. Sali—the woman who had served as our town’s WalMart greeter some 15 years before.
She seemed the same as she had then.
Her plump figure and the crow’s feet around her eyes hadn’t changed one bit.
Even the faint shadow of a mustache still lurked about her laughing mouth.
She was the same woman … and yet … something was different. But I couldn’t put my finger on what that difference was … not until she spoke.
IT WAS GOLD.
“Renee, my child,” she sang out to me.
Her voice, which had been soft and sweet on earth, seemed enhanced. It was pure. It was snow. It was gold.
Her eyes too were changed. While they had sparkled on earth, now they glowed, shone, with a brightness quite unlike any earthly light had ever produced.
“Mrs. Sali?” I questioned. Though I knew it was her.
“Don’t you recognize me, dear one?”
THE KINDNESS THAT RADIATED
Her voice climbed musically and her face illuminated as she said, “Welcome to Super WalMart, where all you’ve ever needed can be found, every tear you’ve ever cried can be dried, every hurt you’ve ever felt can be healed, and the One who loves You most can be found in every aisle.”
She slowly walked over to where I stood, grabbed my hand, and led me through those golden gates.
“Welcome to Heaven,” she whispered softly in my ear.
I looked up into her face and didn’t notice the flaws anymore. All blemishes were drowned out by the kindness that radiated around her being like a halo.
Invite your students to step into adventure with simple yet significant writing exercises.
No prep required.
Just grab a pencil and paper, set a timer, and go!
Renee crafted this story when she was a homeschooled high school student and one of the original participants in the pilot program of Philosophy Adventure.
Now she is married and the mother of three precious children. She's also a professional photographer and writes God-honoring prose published on social media.