My BP continues his exploration and reclamation of the Christian imagination, and we've been discussing the enlightenment mania for breaking things down into discrete facts, thereby stripping them of meaning (which exists only in and through connections). Thomas Howard's Chance or the Dance? A critique of Modern Secularism is a beautifully written exploration of this topic.
As I was contemplating this during my devotional hour the other day, I pondered what the key might be to releasing people into the freedom of wonder. The story of the Emperor's New Clothes has been coming to mind for weeks, because it represents the enlightenment in reverse.
As I thought more about this, and what sort of myth this might be, a story unfolded, and I captured it in the few remaining pages of my tattered journal.
I am not a writer of fiction, let alone fable or fairy tale. But this thing tumbled out like a pent up stream, and I merely had to catch and direct it.
It was dazzling.
The magic of the experience is fading, but at the time I felt nearly fragile with concern that the beauty of it would not be conveyed, that my BP would not think that it fits with what he is doing, or worse, that he simply wouldn't like it.
But I know that it came from God.
I've been asking for the intercession of Lewis and Tolkien and Chesterton, and believe that this story was a response to their prayer. I think that if I am obedient in finishing, it may even be good. I'm not sure how it is to be used, but I think it may be good.
Please pray for me about this.
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1
"It is an easy matter for a man to speak these words: 'Freedom from the wrath of God, sin, death, etc.' But in the time of temptation, in the agony of conscience, to apply them to himself in practice and to feel the excellency of this liberty and its fruit is a harder matter than can be expressed.
Therefore our conscience must be instructed and prepared ahead of time, so that when we feel the accusation of the law, the terrors of sin, the horror of death and the wrath of God, we may remove these heavy sights and fearful fantasies out of our minds and set in their place the freedom purchased by Christ, forgiveness of sins, righteousness, life and the everlasting mercy of God. And although the opposite feelings are very strong, let us assure ourselves that it will not long endure. . . . If our freedom could be apprehended with a sure and steadfast faith, then no rage or terror of the world, of the law, sin, death or the devil could be so great but it would soon be swallowed up as a little drop of water is swallowed by the sea. . . . Let us learn, therefore, to magnify this freedom of ours, which no emperor, no prophet or patriarch, nor any angel from heaven has obtained for us, but Jesus Christ the Son of God."
Martin Luther, commenting on Galatians 5:1
I love this line... "the freedom of wonder" and also the way you captured the fragility of the moment when the words came tumbling out. I found the fact that you have been "been asking for the intercession of Lewis and Tolkien and Chesterton" interesting. Although I can imagine why you would want to tap into their insights, this concept is unknown to me. Interesting though.
Glass House Girl:
It's a wonderful comfort to know that our God is the God of the living, and that we are part of the communion of saints who worship Him. I seek the intercession of these authors the same way I do from my friends. For example, I recently prayed for a young woman at the retreat. When I heard that she suffers from an anxiety disorder, I called my friend over to pray with me, because she has been healed from just such a disorder. In having come through that trial, she has particular insight into how to pray for it.
Chesterton, Lewis, and Tolkien, being men of faith, are most likely standing in the beatific vision now. They are in His presence. And the work they did is similar to work I am trying to do. They know the challenges I will face and the obstacles to be overcome. They know the forces that come against this type of work. So they know better than I do what to pray. -And- they are in God's presence.
So I ask my friends here and now to pray for me, and I ask my mentors in heaven to pray for me.
Because, you see, I need all the prayer I can get.
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