Posts Tagged With: C.S. Lewis

A God Needed

In our Christian propriety, we shrink from saying we need something. I know in reading Lewis’s breakdown of terms between Gift and Need love that I wanted to squelch the idea that I need love. However, in Genesis, God does say that “it is not good for man to be alone.” Many times, this is used in referring to a marriage between a man and a women. That is true but it is not selfish to want to seek out my own company, to be with my kind of friends. I need that every now and again. This desire does not make me selfish; rather, it proves my normality by showing up in my life as a desire. It is the abnormality, Lewis says, to desire to be alone.

More than I need my friends, I need my God. Unlike a friend who at times maybe be inconvenienced by my desire to spend time with him, God never is. My love for God is never disinterested. I always have a need of Him, of His righteousness for my penitence, His grace for my weakness. The beauty is, this is what God wants. He asks for it. In the Old Testament, He says, “Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.” Two words jump out of that phrase. The first word is the word wide. Make room, I am going to bless you, says God. The second word is fill. Not just a small quantity but full and to the brim. Yet all this is contingent of me opening first my mouth, preparing myself, to receive His blessing. I need to do my part and prepare for His giving. I do that by recognizing my need of Him. For myself, a growing question in my mind is my love for God. Is it where it ought to be? Do I love Him like I ought, not necessarily for saving me, although that is nice, but for what He does for me and for helping me live above my carnal self? How passionate am I really? I think what Lewis says may be the first place to examine myself. Am I prepared to receive? Have I recognized my need for God so when He does meet my need, I can love Him for what He gives to meet my need?

(pulled from a response paper to the writings of C. S. Lewis)

EJ

Categories: About life, Just me | Tags: | Leave a comment

Friends

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather is one of those things that give value to survival."
– C. S. Lewis

Part of my current studies is a seminar on the writings of C.S. Lewis. This seminar meets once a week but doesn’t include his more popular writings like The Chronicles of Narnia and Mere Christianity; it only looks at some of his lesser known books. Yesterday, we studied the first half of the book The Four Loves, which included the loves of affection and friendship love. I like this seminar; it’s instructive but yesterday’s session didn’t really click for me till later last night.

Last week, when I was home for Thanksgiving Break, I had called down to Paraguay and talked with John, the guy who replaced me as maintenance man. In speaking with him, he mentioned that Jay was coming to the States the next week for a brief visit. After that conversation, I made a mental note to call Jay when he came Stateside. Last night, I enjoyed a all-too-brief conversation with Jay.

In Paraguay, I worked with Jay for over a year and a half. Not only did we work together but we traveled all over Paraguay on numerous jaunts and to Argentina and Chile on vacation. Though there are some major differences between us, he being from the South and I am a Yankee, I look back on those days in sun-drenched Paraguay with fond memories.

But however fond those memories, I concede that Lewis is correct. My time on this earth is NOT dependent on friendship, however much the contrary I want to fight his statement. My survival in Paraguay was not based on gaining new friends and establishing meaningful relationships. Those relationships enhanced my time there.

This truth is something we often overlook. We grieve over the loss of a friend and rightly so. A friend becomes part of us; when they move on or the friendship is annulled, something is lost. We lose a bit of their presence with us. But life does move on. Life changes. Physical distance grows and shrinks.

So how can we reconcile life, change and friends? Like the flawless texture of a fine chocolate, the tantalizing aroma and flavor of a perfect cup of coffee, and the exhilarating beauty of a clear winter night, enjoy it. When life brings you a friend or grants you a moment to be with friends, enjoy it, savor it, absorb it. And when it rescinds those privileged moments, enjoy the memory of those moments. Like the memory of a gorgeous sunset, may the memories imprint themselves in your mind and looking back to those moments, a smile creeps over your face.

Having said that, I look forward to the next time that Jay and I can talk and hope that  it will be face to face. May the intervening months be short. Until then, I smile. Smile 

EJ

Categories: About life, Just me, Praise, Quotes, Rants and Randomness | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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