The truth that we are each a unique, contributing and (hopefully) working part of the Body of Christ has provided much comfort to me in my life journey; particularly as I examine what I have and have not accomplished.
But in past weeks I have discovered a still greater comfort—or perhaps relief—in a layman’s interpretation of this distinctiveness we have as persons and our role in the Church, our communities, and our relationships.
That layman has earned the distinction of “the greatest Christian philosopher” of our times: C.S. Lewis. In his book The Problem of Pain, Lewis quotes Scripture from the book of Revelation and comments:
“’To him that overcometh I will give a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.’ What can be more a man’s own than this new name which even in eternity remains a secret between God and him? And what shall we take this secrecy to mean? Surely that each of the redeemed shall forever know and praise some one aspect of the divine beauty better than any other creature can.”
Ah. You and I have a secret name. Being known is a rock that invites us to sit and surrender and be. What can compare to this except forgiveness, though the two are inextricably bound?
You are an irreplaceable uniqueness. And not just in this life. Even so, there is no fulfillment in being either known or distinct unless we are also givers. Only then do we resemble our Maker, as he intended, and arrive at Radical Acceptance for who we are and what we contribute today.