This week I’m sharing thoughts on a C.S. Lewis quote I had forgotten. I love Lewis’s allegory The Great Divorce, but it’s been awhile since I last read it. If you never have, I highly recommend it. Very short book with lots of insight.
The Teacher explains: “For the damned soul is nearly nothing; it is shrunk, shut up in itself. Good beats upon the damned incessantly as sound waves beat on the ears of the deaf, but they cannot receive it. Their fists are clenched, their teeth are clenched, their eyes fast shut. First they will not, in the end they cannot, open their hands for gifts, or their mouths for food, or their eyes to see.”-from The Great Divorce
To believe, or not to believe, is an act of the will. At least in the beginning. But cling tightly to unbelief long enough, with clenched fists of pride, and one will eventually be unable to believe in the goodness of the Creator
For those of us who have chosen to believe, it is hard to understand when “fists are clenched, . . . teeth are clenched, . . . eyes fast shut.” We hold in our hands the good that God has given us, we taste the joy He offers, and we see the blessings still ahead. Why would any soul adamantly refuse His gifts?
To risk becoming “nearly nothing” is too great a risk for me.
People wonder how a good God can send souls to hell. But that, I think, is the wrong question. The real issue is how a soul made in His image can choose to reject Him and in doing so purchase their one-way ticket to a life eternal without Him.
For that is what hell is: life (and death) eternally without God. Intentionally live too long on this earth with fists closed to His gifts, eyes shut tight so as to not see His presence, and what the lost soul will get is more of the same after death.
Precious Jesus, Help us to open our hands to Your blessings and to open our eyes to Your goodness and glory. May all who read this choose Your merciful gift of salvation with hands open to receive, mouths open to praise, and eyes open to see. Amen.