“What saves a man is to take a step. Then another step.” – C.S. Lewis

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“What we do to each other, we do to ourselves.” – Paula A. Franzese

Snippets of my day…

*Phone call from a number I didn’t recognize around 2:30 in the afternoon:*

Me: Hello?

Lady: (words incredibly slurred, she was definitely intoxicated) Hi… Peggy. It’s Miissssssss Vio–t.

Me: Um, I’m sorry who are you looking for?

Lady: Pegggggyyyyy!

Me: I think you’ve got the wrong number.

Lady: I don’t got the wrong number. I know what number I dialed! (She hangs up)

*Later in the day, two older women in identical leopard printed shirts are walking in front of me having the following conversation:*

Lady 1: I’ve never been to church in my entire life, and I don’t like people who go to church.

Lady 2: I hear ya. I don’t get crazy church-goers.

*******

And so it seemed to the drunk woman, that I had no clue what I was talking about when it came to my own phone number, even though I was sober. To the leopard clad ladies, I was nothing but an insane church-goer they could never understand. Moments like these remind me that I am not at home in this world. You and I simply don’t belong here. In his book The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis writes that we are never made to feel too comfortable in this world so we always remember that we belong elsewhere, so our souls and spirits long to reach heaven.

So the question arises, where does the soul find rest on this earth? I found my answer to the question in Psalm 84 that speaks about the joys of being in the tabernacle: “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God.”

The church is often referred to as a little piece of heaven on earth. It’s also a little bit of home on earth. For there the soul finds comfort and rest in the House of the Lord. There the soul finds company and has communion with others who seek the same thing. There is a reason so many throughout the ages, believers and non-believers alike, have sought sanctuary in the church.

“Above all else, guard your heart,  for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

What enters the heart will run and rule your life. What emerges from it will affect the lives of others. Choose those you let into your heart wisely. Give love from it freely and without restraint.

“…humans can be made to infer the false belief that the blend of affection, fear, and desire which they call ‘being in love’ is the only thing that makes marriage either happy or holy. The error is easy to produce because ‘being in love’ does very often, in Western Europe, precede marriages which are made in obedience to the Enemy’s designs, that is, with the intention of fidelity, fertility and good will; just as religious emotion very often, but not always, attends conversion. In other words, the humans are encouraged to regard as the basis for marriage a highly-coloured and distorted version of something the Enemy really promises as its result. Two advantages follow. In the first place, humans who do not have the gift of continence can be deterred from seeking marriage as a solution because they do not find themselves ‘in love,’ and thanks to us, the idea of marrying with any other motive seems to them low and cynical. Yes, they think that. They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life, as something lower than a storm of emotion. (Don’t neglect to make your man think the marriage-service very offensive.) In the second place any sexual infatuation whatever, so long as it intends marriage, will be regarded as ‘love’, and ‘love’ will be held to excuse a man from all the guilt, and to protect him from all the consequences, of marrying a heathen, a fool, or a wanton…”

From The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

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Being young and having little experience in the world, I personally cannot say very much about marriage and the love between a married couple but I found this excerpt by C.S. Lewis to be interesting and tought-provoking. I think Lewis encourages his reader to seek out the substance and the heart of a person as opposed to the feelings the person invokes. The inability to connect with the substance of man or a woman is one thing, waiting for the one to give you butterflies in your stomach is another. Lewis would most likely tell you to forget the butterflies; afer all, they only have a lifespan of a week.

I have heard the quote “You must be the change you want to see in the world” several times before without ever giving it much thought. It was just always one of those positive platitudes that were supposed to be inspiring, but nothing more. But the other day I was thinking about perspective and points of view when I found it unexpectedly crossing my mind.

Of course a world changing for the better would be ideal, but I am taken with something smaller at the moment. Simply the vision we have of others, or more aptly put, the vision we project onto others. If we take the premise of the quote–the vision of change will enact change–and apply it to the way we see others, then the way we see others is the way they will be. The next logical conclusion would be to interact with goodness and love from others we must see goodness and love in them. It is easy to see the faults and the flaws, even easier to exxagerate them to gross proportions, and easier still to concoct flaws that aren’t there at all in the name of wisdom and knowledge–false wisdom and false knowledge.

It is clearness of sight to see past all that and to see the goodness and beauty inside our fellow man. Perhaps then we can continue to mold and transform ourselves into the image of Christ when He said “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Seeing past the sin, the flaw, to the inner man, Christ came to gather us unto Him. If He afforded us with the benefit of the doubt that is the very least we can do to others.

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to
  be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is is pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

- St. Francis of Assisi