Posts Tagged ‘C. S. Lewis’

at Philadelphia Zoo.

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“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”  C.S. Lewis

A friend of mine is on a C.S. Lewis trail. She is devouring everything she can that was written, or written about, this amazing man of God who went from being a brilliant atheist, to a theist then, after a ride across town in which nothing much seems to have happened, was a Christian. Just goes to show you even in the most ordinary things, like an across town ride, God moves mightily.

My friend is amazed by him, rightly so, and as she put it, ‘he’s able to put into words things that I can only feel.’ If you read any of his quotes you’ll see that what she says is true.

But, it’s not only his quotes that are an amazing reflection of what one man recognizes about God, but his written work in general can be nothing less than mind bending. It’s best if you just take it in little bites, letting it unravel slowly in your mind or else you may literally freeze your brain to a grinding standstill as it tries to absorb the words it has read. It’s a little like when you really read what Jesus said in the gospels, and think about what it really means instead of what you want it to mean, it’s better taken in small bites and left to absorb slowly.

Although, I’ve tried to absorb Lewis’ more weighty works, the three that really hit home with me are “The Great Divorce“, “The Screwtape Letters” and “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe“. To this day, I can’t read the scene with the witch’s forces killing Aslan without crying, or even watch it without having the same reaction no matter what the movie version.

One thing that has always struck me ever since I found out about it, was the fact that this amazing man of God’s passing into eternity was completely overshadowed by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. I don’t think you could get two more different men passing to the other side on the same day. One has come to be known for his intellectual works along with great reflections and belief in God in the midst of great grief, while the other has come to be known as an attractive, charismatic leader know for his affairs and not the things that he believed in or even accomplished in his few years.

Even though C.S. Lewis’ death was so overshadowed, his lasting legacy and the gifts that God gave to us through him cannot be underestimated. I have yet to encounter anyone else who so cleverly was able to share the story of the gospel in the form of a lion’s relationship with four children; or show us that although we walk in the physical we actually live in the eternal; or illustrate the slow and casual descent into the ineffectiveness of complacency.

Yet, it is his quote that I started with that really rings home with me, no matter what we believe, no matter what we may think no matter how we try to argue that God doesn’t exist, it makes no difference to the reality, the actuality that He Is, that He has done and He will continue to do. He can’t help it, He’s God.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”

Isaiah 40:28

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My son is reaching that age. The age of barbarism. If you’ve ever had children, you either know what I’m talking about, or will.

It’s that age. You know the one, where they know more than you and let you know about it. When they reach this age, if you had somehow held onto the illusion that you could tame them or make them civilized, that illusion is quickly torn to pieces and your only response is ‘this is surely not MY CHILD.”

My son, who is my greatest blessing, is also the source of my greatest frustration. I long ago gave up on the illusion of taming him. The final straw in the tamablity quotient came as a result of the loudest and greatest burp I ever heard that somehow made itself out of his mouth. Then when I commented on it, he just said “what?”

Barbarian was my only thought.

Since then, I have been able to cultivate at least some semblance of civil behavior in him, but I have no idea what he does when I’m not around. I’m not entirely convinced that he will ever be tame, and, I’m not sure if I really want him to be. Life would be a little boring if we were ever truly domesticated.

But, isn’t that what we try to do with God? We try to domesticate Him, make Him tame, so we can live in quiet civility. We don’t want Him to draw attention to Himself or us, and, we certainly don’t want Him to upset our little applecart.

Of course, that’s what He does because He is God. He can’t help it.

In our delusional state, we have it all wrong, we don’t tame Him. He tames us. In fact, He is wholly untamable, and in trying to tame Him we show how woefully ignorant we are of who He truly is.

It’s like when Mr. Tumnus comments to Lucy about the nature of Aslan in the great C.S. Lewis classic, “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.”

‘It’s not like he’s a tame lion,’ he tells her at the end of the movie based on the book.

It’s not like He’s a tame God. A God who willingly gives up His own life for the guilty person so they have a chance to live, is not tame in any way, shape or form. He could do just about anything, and does.

“Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.

Is there anyone around who can explain God? Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do? Anyone who has done him such a huge favor that God has to ask his advice?”

Romans 11:33 – 36 (The Message)

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