February 6, 2010
It is Saturday (the second Saturday I’ve had in SoKo). After a long week of TESOL courses, I am thankful for a day off to rest…a little, for homework is always on the horizon. But today, I took some time to myself, while Jill went with a couple girls into Yawoori. I wanted to try and get some work done, but I was drawn to C.S. Lewis’ work: “Till We Have Faces.” I am re-reading it, and I have to confess that it is just as powerful, or more so than the first time I read it. There are many people I want to meet when I die, but C.S. Lewis’s writing has been such a blessing to my life, that he is one I want to meet and thank with deep gratitude. Of all his works, I have been moved and blessed most by “Till We Have Faces.”
Today I was reading in “Till We Have Faces,” and I came across a passage that seemed to pierce my heart, for I knew it to be true. It was a knowing that I experience only by grace. It was a knowing that I glimpse and hold only briefly because I comprehend so little, and because the glory of its fullness could destroy me. For some reason, by God’s grace, I am given these moments when I least expect it, and only when I stop to listen. I know one plus one equals two. But when God reveals a truth to me, it is as if my whole being is transformed to embrace a truth that cannot be grasped or owned (as 1+1=2 is), but only honored, and worshiped. I honor and whorship it, because truth is not an objective material that I can examine; rather truth is a Person…and when I AM confronts me, I am the one that is examined.
I was examined by this text:
“Now mark yet again the cruelty of the gods. There is no escape from them into sleep or madness, for they can pursue you into them with dreams. Indeed you are then most at their mercy. The nearest thing we have to a defence against them (but there is no real defence) is to be very wide awake and sober and hard at work, to hear no music, never to look at the earth or sky, and (above all) to love no one.”
Some context must be given for this text. This was written by one of the characters of this book, and she is also the narrator. She is the older sister of a beautiful princess. She loves her princess sister to the point of obsession and co-dependence, which is in fact not love at all, but only self-interested passion. Her beautiful sister is taken by the gods (for a reason she is not yet aware), and she wrote this book as words of defiance against the gods. This book has a powerful climax, as she finally gets to say what she’s always wanted to say to the gods…but she discovers everything she thought was true about love was only an illusion.
I love this book, because over and over again, I can hear the complaints that I’ve uttered towards God. This story has a powerful way of revealing the truth or lies that are hidden in my complaints.
This text pierced my heart today because I find that often I make subtle choices in my spirit, and in my actions in an attempt to escape from God. Often they seem innocent–dive into my work, stop listening to music, and stop doing what nourishes my soul ; or just as subtle, yet much more evil: I push the people I love away.
You see, God never stops pursuing us. It may often times seem cruel what we think God is taking from us, but it is truly a work of grace to come to the end of yourself, and find the only thing that matters…and that thing is a Person, and that Person is God.
Praise God the Father, Son, and Spirit who are One. May we not seek escape, but rather unity with each other and Them.