Thursday, June 2, 2011

Thoughts for Thursday: Words and C.S. Lewis

"Those hills," said Lucy, "the nice woody ones and the blue ones behind -- aren't they very like the Southern border of Narnia?"

"Like!" cried Edmund after a moment's silence. "Why, they're exactly like...."
"And yet they're not like," said Lucy. "They're different. They have more colors on them and they look further away than I remembered and they're more...more...oh, I don't know..."
"More like the real thing," said the Lord Digory softly.
Suddenly, Farsight the Eagle spread his wings, soared thirty or forty feet up into the air, circled round and then alighted on the ground.
"Kings and Queens," he cried, "we have all been blind. We are only beginning to see where we are....Narnia is not dead. This is Narnia."
...."it's all so different," said Lucy.
"The Eagle is right," said the Lord Digory. "Listen, Peter. When Aslan said you could never go back to Narnia, he meant the Narnia you were thinking of. But that was not the real Narnia. That had a beginning and an end. It was only a shadow or a copy of the real Narnia which has always been here and always will be here....You need not mourn over Narnia, Lucy. All of the old Narnia that mattered, all the dear creatures, have been drawn into the real Narnia through the Door. And of course it is different; as different as a real thing is from a shadow or a waking life is from a dream." His voice stirred everyone like a trumpet as he spoke these words....
I've been thinking about this passage from The Last Battle a lot lately. Particularly, as I've been memorizing/studying John 1.

Rabbit Trail: Oooo, the wonderful first five verses are simply mind-boggling. Did you know the Greek word for "Word" means "the Divine Expression"? To think that God's expression of Himself became a human being is...incomprehensible; as Martin Luther said, "The mystery of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding." End Rabbit Trail.

Anyway, what I've been thinking is this: Many things in life are, as C.S. Lewis pointed out, a foreshadowing, a shortened version, a muted color of what exists in heaven. Life here on earth lasts only an average of 78 years (in the U.S.), yet, in heaven, there will be no end of life. (Actually, this is also true of death. While the moment of death is an instant here on earth, it too lasts for eternity for those who have not accepted Christ).

But words...words. If Jesus Christ is the incarnated Word, then the words we speak are only a foreshadowing of something deeper...something we will only fully understand when we stand before the living Word.

What are words? What are they in their real, bigger, brighter colors? 'Til we see God, I am not sure if we can understand, but this I know: If, somehow, the Son's Word had such power that He became a Person, I can finally understand why we, as Christians, must guard our words so closely. Our words are to parallel the Word, and all those which don't are nothing short of blasphemy. Because words - real, bright, shining words, the true words that the sounds we speak foreshadow - have a deeper impact than we realize.

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 is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!" - The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis

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Ruthie H. said...

Sarah, your post took me back to some thoughts I recorded during my quiet time this morning. Basically it was that the spiritual realm (including heaven) and our relationship with Christ are reality. "This world is only a veil, which will someday be removed entirely to reveal the true reality - eternal life with God. When we remember this, the hardships of life become a faint memory." Thank you for the good words! :)

Mikaela said...

Although your title seems trite compared to the deep thoughts it describes, I do admire the alliteration.

And I am excited by the conclusions you have drawn as well. I have studied John 1 before, of course, and I have thought about that beautiful last chapter in *The Last Battle* in relation to heaven, but I have never stopped to relate the two concepts. To think that we are just seeing a shadow of the real Word gives me shivers of excitement for the day when we can see the entirety of it and Him revealed.

Awesome post!