Thought I’d share with you some pieces of one of my favorite essays today.
The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with
it the suggestion not primarily of securing
good things for others, but of going
without them ourselves, as if our
abstinence and not their happiness was the
important point. I do not think this is the
Christian virtue of Love. The New
Testament has lots to say about self-denial,
but not about self-denial as an end in itself.
We are told to deny ourselves and to take
up our crosses in order that we may follow
Christ; and nearly every description of
what we shall ultimately find if we do so
contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks
in most modern minds the notion that to
desire our own good and earnestly to hope
for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I
submit that this notion has crept in from
Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the
Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the
unblushing promises of reward and the
staggering nature of the rewards promised
in the Gospels, it would seem that Our
Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but
too weak. We are half-hearted creatures,
fooling about with drink and sex and
ambition when infinite joy is offered us,
like an ignorant child who wants to go on
making mud pies in a slum because he
cannot imagine what is meant by the offer
of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily
These things (drink, beauty, ambition, ect) …are good images of what we
really desire; but if they are mistaken for
the thing itself they turn into dumb idols,
breaking the hearts of their worshippers.
For they are not the thing itself; they are
only the scent of a flower we have not
found, the echo of a tune we have not
heard, news from a country we have never
yet visited. Do you think I am trying to
weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember
your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking
enchantments as well as for inducing them.
And you and I have need of the strongest
spell that can be found to wake us from
the evil enchantment of worldliness which
has been laid upon us for nearly a hundred
years. Almost our whole education has
been directed to silencing this shy,
persistent, inner voice; almost all our
modem philosophies have been devised to
convince us that the good of man is to be found on this earth.
Figure out who it is yet? This is C.S. Lewis, author of the Narnia books! His writings on Christianity are just as enchanting, and I love this essay because it speaks of the delight we were created for and yearn for, and assures us that, though we will not find it here on Earth, we will find it in Christ. You can read the rest here for FREE (yes, really): http://www.verber.com/mark/xian/weight-of-glory.pdf .
Also in regard to the pictures- God’s been moving my heart to feel more compassion than I ever have for the poor and helpless, especially children. He has convicted me about my OWN finances and reminded me that it is a COMMAND, not a suggestion, to give to “such as these”.