Thursday, September 13, 2012

On slow change

13 September 2012

Sometimes, it is good that things percolate and brew. There’s a flavor transition, a texture change, a metamorphosis—so that one scarcely recognizes the thing finished from the thing began.

And people morph in progress; if we are not changed by the journey, we are not likely moving, not living at all. People must change. It is the nature we were given. Even when change is imperceptible externally, or torrential internally, or catastrophic contextually; it simply is our state of being: becoming.

Childhood’s emblems pass thick and dense with threads of imagination, all the worlds created from thin air, the first whispers of wishes for life, a prelude to the symphony. Perhaps the first pinings of “artistic temperament”, or just the utterly basic nature of man: to long, to hunger, to ache with happy angst for our true destiny, our ultimate relationship.

But dreams disappoint, especially when the dreamer is ignorant and scared—pseudo-safety constructed from gossamer whims. These disintegrate, swept away in reality’s cold winds, sometimes to liberation, sometimes to despair. And love of dreams wanes as actual strength to forge in reality what the heart sees in clarity fails, because the heart is humiliatingly weak, and the soul crushingly frail.

And yet, in all the smashing and sifting and blowing away, an indomitable, severe and sweet mercy pervades, because, after all, we are created ones, and we have a Maker Who cares for our souls. And perhaps the winds blow to teach us that we are not our own, that we cannot possess control.

Maybe the frost is really our friend, warning us to seek the protection we need from the winter storm.

Could it be that the darkness and cloud come as kindreds, beckoning us into the light and warmth of our Maker’s embrace?

What would happen if we welcomed the winds instead of resisting them? If we listened to the whispers and shouts instead of covering our ears? If we accepted the season of confusion, darkness, and quiet? What might we learn of ourselves? What might we come to know of the One Who made us? And what might change in how we look at the pilgrims walking near us?

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare.

All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations.

You have never talked to a mere mortal.

Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - 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 splendors.” C.S. Lewis

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