Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Great Divorce

This weekend I have been standing in the tension of wanting to plough through a must-read whilst also secretly hoping it never reaches an end.
I spent some hours over the past two days curled up with C.S Lewis's masterpiece 'The Great Divorce,' and I battle to think of another piece of fiction that houses more wisdom, fluid eloquence or mind-altering revelation. This is the sort of book that stretches out it's arms and pulls you into the very story between it's pages. Every now and then I had to look up from the book and make sure that I was still sitting on the cafe armchair and hadn't been whisked away into a fictitious land. 

In my favorite chapter of the book, Lewis flawlessly describes a woman that he comes across whilst in Heaven. The beauty of this passage is that whilst upon the earth, said woman was no more than a regular nobody. She wasn't wealthy, her name wasn't known nor did her face beg to be noticed. But, when she crossed the chasm of death, she was transformed in such a way that her inner world of love and purity could be seen externally, thus making her one of the most exquisite beings imaginable. 
I may or may not have shed a tear or two while the beautiful imagery washed over me. 

"Love shone not from her face only, but from all her limbs, as if it were some liquid in which she had just been bathing.

Every young man or boy that met her became her son – even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.

‘Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?’

‘No, There are those that steal other people’s children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. Few men looked on her without becoming, in a certain fashion, her lovers. But it was the kind of love that made them not less true, but truer, to their own wives.

Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.

But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things in the universe into life."
{Double exposure series by Pakayla Biehn}

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