Thursday, October 20, 2016

heaven and hell so few inches apart

Today Lewis says one of my favorite Lewis quotes in A Year with C.S. Lewis.

He is talking about how redemption and damnation are both retroactive. So the man in heaven will say "Earth was heaven, too" and the man in hell will say "Earth was hell!" and they will both be right. That brings to mind Sartre's assertion that "hell is other people" and applies very appropriately.

And the title of this blog is stolen from the pages of my favorite songwriter - the inimitable Rich Mullins. Rich and Lewis are two of my biggest sources for wisdom - and having them come together for tonight's blog is pretty cool.

The take home lesson, I think, is that our hell and our heaven, as Rich says, are so few inches apart that we travel that distance multiple times in a day. Heck, I've traveled them multiple times in an hour. And I've seen that retroactive grace, and that retroactive damnation, work their magic in that tiny space of time, too. It's freaky when it happens, because suddenly your culpability seems all out of whack. How can I be guilty of the sin that caused me to be in a sinful funk before the sin I committed? But there's no escaping that I AM in fact to blame.

The good news is, He is redeeming me before I even ask. He is meeting me in the midst of my sin, and knows that I need that redemption long before I even face the merest hint of the temptation that will lead me into the darkness.

With these our hells and our heavens so few inches apart we must be awfully small, and not as strong as we think we are. And that's good news, because if I were bigger and stronger, I would be tempted to resist that grace He gives me, that I need so desperately.

Thank You, God, for Your amazing retroactive grace.


julie reedy said...

Very very deep is this one.

Joy Seward said...

Those lyrics are so brilliant. When I first heard them years ago they amazed me as they seem almost hidden. They zip by so quickly and without emphasis--part of the lyrical story---but they are genius in flow and ability to stop you in your tracks at the same time. So true. So human. I just stop everything and mouth, Wow.
Bless you for helping to keep Rich circulating into new hearts and minds.