I started my week with a Devotional and this Quiet Scripture reading, little guessing how similar these words would echo the final chapters for our study at Michele Morin’s site:
for C.S. Lewis’ myth retold, Till We Have Faces.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NIV
We have come to the final two chapters of the book, and I find myself overwhelmed with so many thoughts from these words penned by a supreme wordsmith. But C.S. Lewis was not using his words only for the sake of beautiful and cunning language. No, he addresses that thought, the ultimate inadequacies of our language, as he alludes to the meaning of this book’s title:
“When the time comes to you at which you will be forced at last to utter the speech which has lain at the center of your soul for years, which you have, all that time, idiot-like, been saying over and over, you’ll not talk about joy of words. . . Till that word can be dug out of us, why should they (the gods) hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
In the last days of her life, Orual was given vision after vision, taking her closer to the depths of her own heart. In one final vision, Orual brought her (mostly) finished story and her complaint against the gods. As she stood reading her complaint, she suddenly realized that she had been reading the same words over and over again, and the gods themselves had been silent.
There in the silence she understood that the very complaint she had brought before them, thinking she was judging them, was in fact, the judgement of her own ways. She was the one who had treated LOVE unfairly. She was the one who had abused the heart of her Dear Psyche, and the one who had sent her away.
In the moments before Orual faced her trial before the Supreme Lord, she was shown glimpses of her life, and of Psyche’s life. As she watched their parallel paths, she saw the heart difference displayed in Psyche. While Psyche still carried joy through her wanderings, Orual had only carried sorrow and bitterness in the deep caverns of her soul. A clarity began to form in Orual’s heart.
Haven’t I faced that moment of clarity when the True God placed before me the decision to choose HIS Life,
to be offered a full repentance?
Psyche offered to Orual, a love that was without restraint. A love that Orual had never been able to attain:
“Did I not tell you, Maia (Psyche’s name for Orual,) that a day was coming when you and I would meet in my house and no cloud between us?”
Psyche brought Orual to the edge of a pool, and the joy and the love that Orual had never understood before, was offered to her through Psyche’s gift. Even as the Supreme One approached them, and Orual felt herself “pierced through and through with the arrows of it. I was being unmade,” she knew why all of it mattered:
“The earth and stars and sun, all that was or will be, existed for His sake. And He was coming. The most beautiful, the only dread and beauty there is, was coming.”
And in that moment, the unmaking of Orual was the birthing of something more beautiful than she could ever have thought. In the reflected vision at the pool, Psyche’s love and Psyche’s beauty became her own. Same but not the same. Mercy had won over judgement. Only Love remained.
Her book demanded a different ending:
“I ended my first book with the words ‘no answer.’ I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer. You are yourself the answer. Before your face questions die away. What other answer would suffice?”
And my own heart wept as another glimpse into the mercy of my God filled my soul. All of my own striving to love, all of my own searching for beauty only leads me to a deeper shame, and a deeper knowing that I cannot attain to what is required. He, the ONE who is everything, is not within my reach.
But His Mercy made a way
His Mercy sent Jesus
To show me what
only He could bring:
The True Love
that paid the price
for the complaint
brought against me,
In His Face
we find our own faces
when we choose His Life
The God who spoke light into existence, saying, “Let light shine from the darkness,” is the very One who sets our hearts ablaze to shed light on the knowledge of God’s glory revealed in the face of Jesus, the Anointed One.
He takes the same Love that’s inside of His Heart
And He puts the same love deep inside of me.
To find an index for all of the posts in this series on the study of C.S. Lewis’ Till We Have Faces,