Wednesday reads from the blogosphere:
“where the fairy tale does not end happily ever after” – jose e. alvarez [via scottsholar]
“how to read atheists’ blogs” – with all I am
“be imitators” – sergeimakarenko
“c.s. lewis the poet” – mere inkling
“blind sided” – don’t stop believing [dr. wittmer – a spiritual jedi!]
It’s official. Christmas is less than a week away. I look forward to this season every year. Colorful decorations stream my freshly cut pine with gifts underneath on display. But despite the holiday cheer dressing my home, I do not seem to be in the “Christmas spirit.” And I am not sure why. Maybe it is because we haven’t had our usual snowfall that blankets the sub tundra terrain. Or maybe I have been so caught up in work and responsibilities that I haven’t had a single moment to reflect on this holiday. Whatever the case may be, the usual warm feeling that fills my soul has gone amiss thus far.
I miss the feeling. But as I sit here, I realize that Christmas is not about a feeling. Christmas is about hope. Hope in the Child. A Child who has “come to earth to taste our sadness, …whose glories knew no end; by his life he brings us gladness, our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.” And it was Jesus, the Prince of Peace, our Cloud Rider, who humbled Himself and left the glories, signifying His desire to restore our fallen state out of an act of selfless love. By lowering Himself to our condition as the dust of the Earth, “God became man to turn creatures into sons; not to produce a better man of the old kind but to produce a new kind of man,” (C.S. Lewis).
Freshwater oceans. The four seasons. And a diverse community of lovely people. This is Michigan. My home. I have called this place home for nearly 24 years. But despite calling it home, deep within my soul I have always had a bizarre feeling of homesickness, as if this home that I love is not where I truly belong.
In search, I have become a wandering traveler, seeking adventure in life’s journey. Amidst the quest, I have been immersed in the depth of culture spanning five continents. “The core of a mans’ spirit comes from new experiences, ” said Christopher McCandless. And I believe there is some fugacious truth to this statement. We seek something more. Something to fill a lonely void. Emptiness. Not hopelessness. Because I have hope. I know the Cloud Rider. And I wait for Him.
But I am homeless.
Despite my best efforts, I do not feel that I have ever discovered the place I could call home the rest of my life. Maybe that’s good. Maybe I am not supposed to. “…The most probably explanation is that [I] was made for another world” (C.S. Lewis).
Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among the mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the glass there may have been a looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time they were somehow different — deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know. The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked like it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if you ever get there you will know what I mean.
It was the unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then cried: “I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia so much is because it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”
“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.” And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all stories, and we can most truly say they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.
-The Last Battle