Unlocking the Heart

When my last post had words
simmering under the heat 
of ice melt,
I thought my heart was melting
in the stillness also.

But the beginning of the ice melt
is only, well, the beginning.
And the cold has returned to our Wisconsin
Lake town.

But what about my heart? Is this only the beginning
for the ice melt there as well?

Today is Week 8 over at Michele Morin’s site Living Our Days,
where we have been studying C.S. Lewis’ myth re-told, Till We Have Faces. If you enjoy lively discussion and vivid insights, then hop over to Michele’s site for her excellent leading of the study.
And, if you have been following along here, you might remember that Orual had just become Queen in our last study.  After her sister Psyche’s banishment to a life of desolation, and Orual’s own inner desolation, Orual chose to immerse her days in becoming more and more “Queenly,” and took up the title with much virtue. She instituted changes that brought a level of justice and knowledge that her Kingdom of “Glome” had never known before. But those were her days. Her nights were a different matter:
“one little stairway led me from feast or council, all the bustle and skill and glory of queenship, to my own chamber to be alone with myself–that is, with a nothingness.”  
As her years wore on, “round and round like a wheel,” Orual became weary of the never-ending sameness to her days, and decided to go on a tour of the countries surrounding her own. The lands were finally at peace with each other, and she thought there could come a variety to her days by traveling.
In all of these years, Orual had chosen to wear a veil to cover her own face. Ever since the devastation that happened at the mountain with Psyche, there was a hiding that Orual took up as a cloak. And as the years lengthened, there were fewer and fewer alive who had remembered seeing her face. Always called “ugly” when she was younger, there was now surrounding her an aura of mystery.
Towards the end of the traveling tour, while her companions and servants rested, Orual wandered into a temple where a strange priest recounted to her the tale of the young goddess called Istra, (Psyche’s given name,) who had been banished to a life of desolation.  In those moments, Orual’s hard heart threatened to break open. She was furious over the way the story of Psyche had been misrepresented through the years.  The true story rushed into her memory, indeed into her very heart, and she remembered the times that she had not admitted to anyone: she had seen the god with whom Psyce dwelt in the palace of supernatural making. In her anger she vowed to tell her own version of the story, and she would unleash her anger at the gods for taking away her own Psyche.
“Often, though I had seen a god myself, I was near to believing that there are no such things. The memory of his voice and  face was kept in one of those rooms of my soul that I didn’t lightly unlock. Now, instantly, I knew I was facing them.”
As I wait to read the final chapters of the book, I wonder what will become of Orual as she unlocks her heart to face the ice-melt that is happening there. Will she ever remove the veil that she has shrouded herself with for so many years?
More importantly, when the true God who created
all of these dwelling places for us,
our very souls,
calls us to let Him remove the veil
and melt our hearts,
how will we respond?
In my place of pain and weakness,
will I let Him speak words of beauty 
over me?
Or will I choose to hold onto 
the tattered and worn veil,
refusing to let Him cover me
with His words of Love?
As I pray for my own heart
to find the unveiling
so that I can be covered by His Love,
my prayers are also filled
with longing
for you, my friend.
Will you open to Him?

 “The Lord your God in your midst, 

The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV 



If you want to catch up on any of the posts relating to C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces, you can find an index by clicking here.


I am linking today over at #LiveFreeThursday Suzie Eller


10 thoughts on “Unlocking the Heart

  1. I'm finding that I have so much sympathy with Orual's complaint about the “round and round” of her tasks. Does it ever seem that way to you, Bettie, that one meal follows another — and the dishes thereof — and that children wear clothes and we wash them only to find them dirty again. If there were no God in the heavens to give it all meaning and to call me to a higher understanding of life, I would not survive, and so I guess I have a sad kind of respect for the way the Orual soldiered on in spite of it all. But at what cost to her heart? I'm thankful that in these final chapters she is taking off the veil, asking some questions, and looking at the hard truth she has avoided all her adult life.


  2. Dear Michele,
    Oh yes, I definitely feel the weariness of seeing those wheels of our days going round and round. And I too looked on Orual's longing for something more with a sad sympathy. But you are right–her soldiering on did not help her hardened heart to find any relief. I am so grateful that our Lord is here to unveil those hard places that creep into my heart, and that He has been using this book study as part of the process. May He bless you for putting so much of your own heart into the discussion and posts where we all can join in!


  3. Hi Tiffany, Oh I think you would really like this book, since you are a fan of C.S. Lewis. He has such a way of bringing a story right into your heart! Blessings to you!


  4. Bettie, I have really enjoyed these musings of yours about the book and relating it to your own life. I think I have it somewhere in the house, and you've given me inspiration to find it and read it. May you continue to be blessed as you read on in the book and keep sharing your inspiring thoughts.
    “In my place of pain and weakness,
    will I let Him speak words of beauty
    over me?”
    Oh I pray that will be true for all of us. Many blessings to you, dear Bettie,my sweet poet/sister/friend! xo


  5. Dear Gayl, I'm so glad that you have found a resting place here in these musings! I do hope you can read this book by C.S. Lewis. I think you would enjoy it! His words and language stir up such longings in the soul. Thank you for all of your prayers and sharing my dear poet/sister/friend! Love and Hugs! xo


  6. Dear Bettie, the more you share of this book the more intrigued I become. Definitely one for the wish list, especially as I am already a fan of C.S Lewis!
    Talking about an unveiling reminds me of the masks we wear, often unthinkingly, or unawares. Yet because the veil which previously separated us from God was torn at Jesus' death, it suggests God also wants us to be our authentic, unveiled selves before Him. Layers take time to be peeled away but we can learn to grow more each day into the fullness of who we were always meant to be, and into closer likeness to Christ.
    This book is certainly helping to unveil deep reflective thoughts in you, my friend! Thank you for your vulnerable heart sharing. Blessings and love! xo ��


  7. Dear Joy,
    Oh, yes, I hope that you will be able to read this book; I think you would really like it! C.S. Lewis draws us into the story, and before we realize it he has told us about our own hearts! And, yes, you are so right, those layers do take time to be peeled away. Even in that process God's Grace is so gentle to us, and draws us into new places of intimacy with Him. I am so grateful for your visit here today, Dear Friend! Your words mean so much to me! Blessings and Hugs and Love to you! xo


  8. Hi Kimberly,
    Yes, isn't C.S. Lewis such a great storyteller? I am glad you stopped by here also! We are trying to stay warm as winter returns. 🙂 Hugs & Blessings to you too!


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