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CS Lewis – the Problem of Pain
May 31, 2016, 10:48
Filed under: Christian, prayer, Thoughts

On Heaven. – C.S Lewis, “The Problem of Pain”

There have been times when I think we do not desire heaven; but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else. You may have found that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all you life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw – but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realize that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported…

Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, which, beneath the flux of desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have every deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it – tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest – if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself – you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say “Here at last is the thing I was made for.”

Lord, how I long for that day when the the unspoken can be understood without the confusion of words. For when the “yawning gulf” between myself and another will no longer have to be traversed by my faulty, failing words. You are the perfect Word and I cannot wait to be in Your presence.

Blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold Him and not another’s. All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have His good way, to utter satisfaction… God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love. Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it – made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.

It is from this point of view that we can understand hell in its aspect of privation. All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever.

Lord, let me behold You and not another. I submit and ask that you would have Your way, no matter the cost or no matter the painful journey that You will lead me on. Because You know what I was made for and You are lovingly shaping and disciplining me that I might “fit” into Heaven, where I can have a relationship with You.