Archives for May 2010
Tchividjian examines the story of Jonah with a microscope, with words that in turn causes the reader to examine their own heart, their own soul with an equally strong microscope. Grace, which the author proclaims is the bottom line for the story of Jonah, is a difficult concept to understand. Yet in this relatively short book, grace is not only defined in words that provide a framework for a deeper awareness of that grace, it also encourages an acceptance of the truth that there really is not human explanation for grace. Without grace, our existence would merely be mechanical and worthless. With grace, genuine worship of our God and our Jesus, becomes not just an act that we perform out of duty, but it becomes our lifeline and the central purpose for our lives.
I would consider this book to be a “must-read” for those who habitually run from God.
If one has never read C.S. Lewis’ non-fiction works, then they, in my opinion, are missing out on the opportunity to not just read a brilliant thinker and writer, but they are also missing the privilege and honor to be allowed to see inside another human’s soul, as they reason out the complexities of approaching God, and of being approached by God—being pursued by God. Lewis’ transparency and use of language can’t help but cause the reader to examine their own mind and soul, and their very thinking about a relentless God’s pursuit of a person like me, unworthy and a failure.
I will admit, I am one of the very few who do not like his fiction writing. At all. But as far as his non-fiction works, his brutal honesty about his own mind and soul, and his willingness to share (and admit!) that the human mind can be an entanglement of so many different textures of thoughts about God, funneling down eventually for him, to a surrender as quoted below—his words so echo my own heart and process. That is why I have adopted him as my uncle, and how I wish he was still alive today, writing just the right words to express the very similar thoughts that I have in my own mind, that I just seem to be able to express as eloquently and succinctly. Just don’t ever make me read Chronicles of Narnia again. Ever. 🙂
“You must picture me alone in that room at Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The hardness of God is softer than the softness of men.” (C S Lewis)