Living beyond the ordinary
I love dreaming up fanciful houses and cities. My favourite book as a teenager was ‘The Art of Return of the Jedi’- a large colour collection of illustrations by a number of artists, some of which ended up in the film and others that were simply ideas in progress. It’s entertaining to see the variety of ideas a group of artists can come up with when given the same assignment. I still have the remains of that book – it’s pretty much fallen apart!
When I was designing the Bug Dragons cave I imagined a city made from hollowing out natural limestone formations and these I coloured and embellished with ‘cave plants’ inspired by fungi and microscopic life. My next task is to design dwellings for the forest fairies. I have described their houses as being alive and growing. Imagine having a house seed to grow, or a gourd like fruit to live in! There would be nothing the same, nooks and niches everywhere and probably no natural flat walls or floors. I could be entertained byliving like that, but I’m not sure that my husband would!
Beyond that we can have some fun by adding other dimensions. Who would not like a ‘room of requirement’ as in Harry Potter, or for their house to be ‘bigger on the inside’ like the TARDIS? I would like to introduce colours that only fairy eyes can see.
Science has recently caught up with the reality of other dimensions, but the bible has always acknowledged them, often describing ‘the heavens’ as plural. It’s not a cloudland full of fat cherubs as depicted in renaissance art. Both John and Ezekiel and others who are given a glimpse, struggled to describe what they saw within the limitations of human language.
As for buildings… well, if we consider the astounding artistry and design visible to us all in nature, we can be pretty sure that the mind that came up with that, can come up with a truly astounding city. This life is short (and feels shorter the older I get!) and it’s easy to focus all our desires on that dream home, dream holiday or career. Ultimately though, even if we get what we think we want, it will not last and does not satisfy.
‘Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms.* If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?’ (John 14 :2)
We all need a home… and I have no doubt that the home that Jesus offers us will defy all of our imaginations!
*The greek word used here for ‘rooms’ can also be translated as an abode or mansion.