A dream comes true at sunset. Yesterday evening I saw light soaking and dripping from the clouds, into the hills, the valleys, the prairies. All of life was rioting in wild and dangerous joy. It was so intense that I thought God had cut open an artery. Jesus Christ, the Artist, was bleeding, and His dream was coming true.
An artist’s suffering is the source of his art. In his pain, he discovers a song that touches the heart and soul of a people. Life bleeds from his fingers. His agony splashes onto the canvas.
Or in Jesus’s case, the sky. In His suffering on the cross, He perfected a dream. The dream transcended His suffering, because it promised that He and His family will rejoice together in the coming Kingdom.
It might be argued that Jesus’s suffering is the source of every sunset He creates. When He suffered on the cross, the Bible says that His soul was marred more than human likeness. His physical being—torn apart. His spirit—mangled. The deep soul of His being—crushed.
But the Father was painting in Him a better dream through His suffering—that of saving us, by wounding Him. Jesus suffered so beyond understanding that His humanity and compassion and warmth, His soul and heart and love, His Word and His life are hinted at only in the most glorious and goriest of clouds.
I am humbled that in those clouds, Jesus’s dream for me has come true. I am free to live.
In the finale of Splash Mountain at Disneyland, the whole sky is lit up and blooming as the chorus of animals rejoice in the victory of good over evil. Br’er Rabbit has finally outsmarted Br’er Fox. He and his buddies are safe at last. The scare is over. Life has begun. All of creation sings “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.”
That celebration in Splash Mountain is a reminder that the grand finale in Life is heralded in the warm, orange, blooming eventide of the clouds. Heaven lies just beyond. Eternal life is waiting to burst in glory. So I wait patiently.
There is no dream more humbling for a man than to be alive in Jesus’s sunset. To know that the air through which Jesus shapes the light is the same in his lungs. Let him gaze at the clouds, inspired by their beauty, to hold fast to the promise of his eternal reward.
I cannot imagine how good it will be in Heaven. Jesus is bigger than the aggregate of His sunsets. The Bible tells me that no one knows all the good things that He has prepared for us, for those who love Him. It is a dream that I am not punished for my sin. It is a dream to express myself in the art that comes by grace. It is a dream to be humbled under the sunset that inspires me to be an artist who has fallen in love with Jesus.
Jesus Christ’s gory beauty is the sweetest dream. Because He is true. And I drink Him in the evenings when He pours it from the clouds.