Thursday, February 16, 2012

Till We Have Faces

"I knew that all this had only been a preparation. Some far greater matter was upon us...the air was growing brighter and brighter about us; as if something had set it on fire. Each breath I drew let into me new terror, joy, overpowering sweetness. I was pierced through and through with the arrows of it. I was being unmade. I was no one...the earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for his sake. And he was coming. The most dreadful, the most beautiful, the only dread and beauty there is, was coming...."

Every couple years since my sophomore year in college I've reread Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. It's a retelling of the Cupid and Psyche myth, from the perspective of Psyche's older sister, Orual (Or You All??). The first part of the story is her accusations to the gods for their injustice while the second part concedes that she was wrong. With Psyche's help, she's able to see glimpses of the hidden things that she wasn't able to see or understand along the way.

It's so good.

I know some day we'll see with our veils lifted. This life is a shadow, a glimpse of things to come where all things will be reconciled under Christ. Some days that just doesn't seem possible. Will God really reconcile all things to himself? I mean, all things?

We long for justice, mercy and healing in the big things. Children that are trafficked, starving, sick and dying. All creation groans in anticipation. All of this waiting and working intermingle in a way that just awakens more longing.

How long, God? How long till all is set right?

We can't ignore the every day tasks in the same way that we can't shut our eyes from the big things. Yet it seems there are so many things working against us. We're smack dab in the middle of the tension of now, trying to navigate what it looks like to love our spouses, families, friends and those around us. We try to reconcile our own story within the Great Story, but it looks different for each person. If we are to be God's hands and feet of reconciliation for these huge matters of injustice, we have to constantly be in the midst of reconciliation ourselves as we operate in unity within our community of faith and family units. No two people see everything exactly the same way, yet we still have to operate as one. It's this constant, often complicated dance of giving and learning what is best for the whole, not just one part, as every decision we make effects the others. The family, the local church, the universal church can only function and flow by constantly giving up our own power, bending over backwards and encourage each other while listening to the rhythm of the others, joining in where the others lack. I just wish there was less bickering within the evangelical community and more encouraging. I mean, I get it. It's hard to function well within a marriage where there's only two people; how can churches that are full of so many different people actually function well?

I sometimes wonder if all our differences hold us back from our full potential. I think of all that we could accomplish if we were on the SAME PAGE. Then again, I wonder if maybe that's just the wrong way of looking at life. Maybe we can't handle our full potential; if we're always striving to reach it than life becomes about us, what we can accomplish. Maybe our differences are what keep us from thinking too highly of ourselves, thinking we have all the right answers for how things should be.

It seems we could find more ways to celebrate our differences in a way that shapes us into people that put others in front of ourselves. Instead of arguing about who is to take the lead, letting the Holy Spirit take the lead. Wouldn't it be better to have a group of people outdoing each other in how well we serve one another, instead of focusing on who leads who?

When all is said and done, when the shadows are engulfed by Light, and we see things as they are, not as the distortions that we've made them, I think we'll be surprised by how all of our crazy lives fit together as one. And we'll be unmade, realizing that we are no one and yet we matter, not for our sake, but for the sake of the One who hung the stars. We'll be caught up in the dance, no longer having two left feet or falling over each other trying to lead.

"This is our King! The Lamb who died, so we don't have to- our Rescuer. All honor and glory! Forever and ever! And every creature everywhere, in heaven and on earth and under the earth joins in..."

1 comment:

Issakainen said...

Kelly, I am the SAME way. We almost always have Pandora on and I have a really hard time with the kiddie music so I figure they get that at school : )