Friday, September 19, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake

"My Dear Wormwood,
. . . You will notice that we have got them completely fogged about the meaning of the word 'real'. They tell each other, of some great spiritual experience, 'All that really happened was that you heard some music in a lighted building'; here 'real' means the bare physical facts, separated from the other elements in the experience they actually had. On the other hand, they will also say 'It's all very well discussing that high dive as you sit here in an armchair, but wait till you get up there and see what it's really like'; here 'real' is being used in the opposite sense to mean, not the physical facts but the emotional effects those facts will have on the human consciousness. Either application of the word could be defended, but our business is to keep the two going at once so that the emotional value of the word 'real' can be placed on one side of the account, now on the other, as it happens to suit us. The general rule which we have now pretty well established among them is that in all experiences which can make them happier or better only the physical facts are 'real' while the spiritual elements are 'subjective' . . . Thus in birth, the blood and pain are 'real', the rejoicing a mere subjective point of view . . . The creatures are always accusing one another of wanting "to eat the cake and have it"; but thanks to our labours they are more often in the predicament of paying for the cake, and not eating it . . .
Your Affectionate Uncle,
-C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

mr. insomnia stopped by for a visit again
reminding me to make good use of our time together
urging me to give up sleep for more needed reflection
time to paint the reality of the last two days
as You hold out the pallette, letting me choose the colors
first instinct is to sit up and wince
at some lost dream of perfection
cues missed, technology ghosts, that look in my volunteers eyes
that said . . . "but we practiced it perfectly . . . "
and that embarrassing moment my mind keeps turning over
like those loud industrial dryers at the laundromat
I've never had a screaming coach, a sarcastic heckler,
or a stage mother who counts calories
and uses starch on everything
but You and I both know--it's worse
it's the monster inside my head
and I rub my eyes a little too hard
like trying to erase the wrong answer on a scantron
and you rip a hole in the paper
and I cry out to you as my hand shakes
holding the brush to the canvas
but then
there it is
Your gentle whisper reminders of the beautiful reality
that in my mourning over flawless plans
You had something better in mind all along
something better than perfection
something real
a sticky holy spirit humidity
everyone in the room could feel, touch, breathe in
and take home with them
still soaking in way beneath the skin
the thighs of our jeans trickled with tears
as time had stolen the dreams of Your promises
but we chased them down today mob style
to reclaim our rights to the joyous burden
of that great commisssion
and it's simplicity
that can feel so complicated
so we get back in the game with new passion
passion that is real
as real as paint on a canvas
or a cake that crumbles and sticks to the roof of our mouths
as real as the lyrics we heard with more than our ears
Because "after night
comes the light
dawn is here
it’s a new day
everything will change
things will never be the same
we will never be the same
Oh, The glory of it all is
You came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all."

"Balance is not a goal. Someone who is balanced is standing still. You don't want to be balanced, you need to be leaning. Lean into your marriage. Lean into your relationships. Lean into God. People say, 'But if I'm leaning, I might fall down.' Yeah, that's right. It's risky. You might fall down sometimes." Mark Beeson "Stop Talking" Innovate Conference 08

"Between the promise and the payoff, there is always a process. We forget the promise, and forfeit the payoff because we’ve fainted in the process. But what if the process is what it's all about?"

"We have point of view. God has view."
Madelaine Le'Engle, Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

“The Gospel is not only to save souls…it is to save ‘wholes.’ The Gospel is not only verbal proclamation. That is not incorrect; that is incomplete! We must bring up there down here! Demonstration proclamation transforms! We don’t just give a hand-out…we give a hand-up!” Rob Wegner, "Missional Moves" Innovate Conference 2008

"Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: "God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." Matthew 28:18-10 (Msg)


Sarah Koutz said...

I love Screwtape Letters! Great book!!!! I heard the conference went really well. Wish I could have been there.

sherryLsmith said...

Hmmm. I have a monster inside MY head too! I wonder if they're cousins....

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