Another in my repertoire of voices from across the spectrum. C.S. Lewis never fails to anchor me in good ways while at the same time launching me into deeper and further journeyings of imagination, mind and spirit.
Love this excerpt from Mere Christianity:
When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on his side. If he does not show himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find him. And, in fact, he shows much more of himself to some people than to others – not because he as favorites, but because it is impossible for him to show himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favorites, cannot be reflected in dusty mirror as clearly as in a clean one.
You can put this another way by saying that while in other sciences the instruments you use are things external to yourself (things like microscopes and telescopes), the instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man’s self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred – like the Moon seen through a dirty telescope. That is why horrible nations have horrible religions: they have been looking at God through a dirty lens.
Permit me a brief follow-up.
I love that it’s those who sit dejectedly in “the land of the shadow of death” who saw and see a great Light. I don’t take this fact as a contradiction of what Lewis observes. I take it rather as a redefinition of what it truly means to be in a “right condition” for God to reveal himself. It is the poor in spirit – those deeply aware of their poverty of soul – that Jesus groups with the “pure in heart” who see God,
not the religiously astute, accomplished and “enlightened” ones.
I love the fact that the most religiously astute and accomplished man on the planet (at least in his own estimation) had to be blinded by his full exposure to the Son, and descend into darkness for three days before his scaly, “horrible” religion could fall from his eyes and he could see God through his whole self.
Yes. Let this be done. In me. In this blurry and bleary and blah whole self known as me.