Everything I think about Heaven I got from C. S. Lewis (2)

“Your soul has a curious shape because it is a hollow made to fit a particular swelling in the infinite contours of the divine substance, or a key to unlock one of the doors in the house with many mansions. For it is not humanity that is to be saved, but you – you, the individual reader… blessed and fortunate creature, your eyes shall behold him, your eyes and not another’s. All that you are, sins apart, is destined, if you will let God have his way, to utter satisfaction… Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it.”
– CSL. The Problem of Pain.

The Christian worldview gives an origin to identity and personality: we are God’s workmanship and our destiny is to become more who God made us to be, not less. Heaven is a flowering of the personality and identity of every individual, not the erasing of it. We do not join a “sea of being” like a drop joining the ocean when we die as if the “curious shape of your soul” were an accident of life on earth. God made you who you are on purpose. In Heaven all people will bring in their own unique glories and it will result in a symphony, all of it in harmony with the glory of God.

At the core of your identity lies one truth that eclipses everything else that may be true of you: you are a bearer of the image of God. This means that the essence of who you are, your “you-ness,” is good, and all good things cross the barrier of death and remain forever. The thing that makes this idea hard to understand on earth is because we are not yet what we were made to be. As C. S. Lewis elsewhere says, real life has not yet begun. You identity on earth is mixed up with the marring of sin. We see now as in “a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now we know in part, but then we shall know fully, even as we are fully known.” We are ourselves as yet “dim mirrors,” but in God made each of us to reflect him brightly in a unique way. If this is true then the goal is not to become more uniform, but to reflect him in the specific ways that our infinitely creative creator made us to reflect him. Part of the glory of heaven will be that all things that he made reflect God’s image in the same way that facets on a jewel do, with each individual adding to the glory of Heaven precisely because we are cut at different angles.

Goodness, as it grows, becomes more individual – more particular. It is evil that loses its particularity. When you destroy something it becomes rubble, but when you build something it can become unique, and that is exactly the promise of heaven, that the unique goodness that is you will blossom newly for eternity when all of you – sins apart – finds the “particular swelling in the infinite contours of the divine substance” that was made for you and for which you were made.

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