Union Rather than Sameness in Heaven

sameContinued from here.

In his book, The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis goes on to point out that “union exists only between distincts.” In other words, if you and I were exactly the same, there would be no need for union: we could simply merge into each other and become one, which is the belief system of some religions … that we are each one drop of a large ocean and that we return to oneness when we die. However, as Lewis pointed out,

God created: He caused things to be other than Himself that, being distinct, they might learn to love Him, and achieve union instead of mere sameness.”

So, Lewis believes that when we get to heaven, we will become the best versions of our distinctive selves, more “ourselves” than we have ever been with our sin nature removed. And it’s in that distinctiveness that “the union of reciprocal love” brings us into unity with the Trinity – parts that are different and yet One in their distinctiveness through reciprocal love. So, according to Lewis’ theory of heaven, we aren’t all going to be doing the same thing in the same way – no rows of us sitting on clouds playing our harps. Instead, my “job” in heaven will be perfectly suited for me, and your “job” in heaven will be perfectly suited for you as we love another along with everyone else in heaven as we do their own distinctive “jobs” and bless one another in unity, sealed in harmony through reciprocal love. How amazing does that sound!?!!

And, interestingly, we will become our best selves as we pour ourselves out. Relish these beautiful words by Lewis:

And as to God, we must remember that the soul is but a hollow which God fills. Its union with God is, almost by definition, a continual self-abandonment—an opening, an unveiling, a surrender, of itself.”

I will fill up with my own intimate understanding of God and pour it out for you and everyone else in heaven, and you will do the same. As we do this, we will simultaneously because the truest versions of ourselves we have ever been as we sweetly surrender ourselves to God. As Lewis puts it, as we surrender ourselves, we become our truest selves, continually emptying ourselves as we become more ourselves as we fill up with God.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace pointing to herself and saying, “Same!” Courtesy Bitmoji.]

 

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