“Immortal Horrors and Everlasting Splendours”

How does knowing that all people are immortals shape how we think of and treat others?

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously—no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner—no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden. – C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (PDF)

Referenced in Dr. Gregg Strawbridge’s  Sermon,  February 11, 2018, The Transfiguration (Mark 9:2-9)

 

The Purpose of a Pipe and the Redemption of Scribbles

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“The Pipe gives the wise man time to think and the fool something to stick in his mouth.” – C.S. Lewis

This is a birthday present I painted for my friend Scott. He liked it. The depiction of Lewis is based on this photo I found on the Internets.

I just might have to paint a series, as it turns out that many famous people have expressed their opinions on pipes.

(Here’s one Scott quoted today: “On land, on sea, at home, abroad, I puff my pipe and think of God.” – J.S. Bach )

It’s been a while since I’ve painted anything and I really enjoyed picking up a brush.

I used to paint watercolors for my mom when I was a kid and she’d calligraphy Bible verses over them. One of my favorites was a of muddy grayish red blob. It may have even been an unintentional painting… birthed out of mixing colors together on a sheet of paper and the addition of way too much water, to the point where the paper threatened to tear if moved. After it dried, in ornate lettering, mom wrote Genesis 1:2, “The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.”

Suddenly the scribbles were beautiful; redeemed.

A Simple Observation on Fighting

“If you find yourself in the physiological frenzy called ‘flooding’ – racing heart, sweaty palms – stop the argument. Stress hormones inhibit higher cognitive functions, like impulse control and attention. When we feel threatened, we can’t take in new information. In the lab and in therapy sessions, when people take a break, go back to their baseline heart rate and start the conversation again, it’s like they’ve had a brain transplant. Starting a conversation gently is the key to ending it well. ” – John Gottman, Ph.D, co-founder of the Gottman Relationship Institute, as quoted in the January, 2013, issue of Real Simple magazine.

My comment: Yep!

Reading: The Supper of the Lamb

“The graces of the world are the looks of a woman in love; without the woman they could not be there at all; but without her love, they would not quicken into loveliness.” – Robert Farrar Capon, PAGE 4 of The Supper of the Lamb: A Culinary Reflection

(Only page four! What goodness is yet to come? )

The book began with a lamb dinner recipe including the ingredients+notes:

“Soy Sauce (domestic only in desperation)” and “Sherry (if you have any left)”

May I kiss this cook? Would he want to kiss me and/or eat my pancakes?

I’ve not been so twitterpated over food writing since How to Cook a Wolf.

Supper of the Lamb was recommended by @BekaAJohnson. Follow her, already!

Work: Evaluating Our Hearts

As part of the children’s school, we’ve been reading through CMI’S Christian Character Curriculm Vol. 2. This is from the lesson on Virtue:

“How would living (working) to please God differ from what we commonly call ‘good works’?

The former follows our submission to God, while the latter, all to often, are done to find acceptance with God.”

Eh… I don’t quite agree with the implication that “good works” is negative — it is a phrase positively used in scripture. I do, however, appreciate the opportunity to evaluate the motivation of my own heart. I’ve rewritten this quote to help apply it to me:

“Am I doing this work because I love God, or because I’m trying to get Him to love me?”

But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ ( by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. – Ephesians 2:4-10

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. – Colossians 3:23-24

To love at all is to be vulnerable.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

-C.S. Lewis, from The Four Loves