Sense of Exile

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The Fall of Man

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Unless a thing is dignified, it cannot be undignified. Why is it funny that a man should sit down suddenly in the street? There is only one possible or intelligent reason: that man is the image of God. It is not funny that anything else should fall down; only that a man should fall down. No one sees anything funny in a tree falling down. No one sees a delicate absurdity in a stone falling down. No man stops in the road and roars with laughter at the sight of the snow coming down. The fall of thunderbolts is treated with some gravity. The fall of roofs and high buildings is taken seriously. It is only when a man tumbles down that we laugh. Why do we laugh? Because it is a grave religious matter: it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd: for only man can be dignified.” Unless a thing is dignified, it cannot be undignified. Why is it funny that a man should sit down suddenly in the street? There is only one possible or intelligent reason: that man is the image of God. It is not funny that anything else should fall down; only that a man should fall down. No one sees anything funny in a tree falling down. No one sees a delicate absurdity in a stone falling down. No man stops in the road and roars with laughter at the sight of the snow coming down. The fall of thunderbolts is treated with some gravity. The fall of roofs and high buildings is taken seriously. It is only when a man tumbles down that we laugh. Why do we laugh? Because it is a grave religious matter: it is the Fall of Man. Only man can be absurd: for only man can be dignified.

 –G. K. Chesterton

There Is No Such Corner

Adam & Eve apple copy[Humanity] fell. Someone or something whispered that they could become as gods—that they could cease directing their lives to their Creator and taking all their delights as uncovenanted mercies, as ‘accidents’ (in the logical sense) which arose in the course of a life directed not to those delights but to the adoration of God.

As a young man wants a regular allowance from his father which he can count on as his own, within which he makes his own plans (and rightly, for his father is after all a fellow creature), so they desired to be on their own, to take care for their own future, to plan for pleasure and for security, to have a meum [personal possession] from which, no doubt, they would pay some reasonable tribute to God in the way of time, attention, and love, but which, nevertheless, was theirs not His. They wanted, as we say, to ‘call their souls their own.’

But that means to live a lie, for our souls are not, in fact, our own.
They wanted some corner in the universe of which they could say to God, ‘This is our business, not yours.’ But there is no such corner. They wanted to be nouns, but they were, and eternally must be, mere adjectives.

—C. S. Lewis,
The Problem of Pain

We Have Lost Our Way

imgres-1That is what makes life at once so splendid and so strange. We are in the wrong world. When I thought that was the right town, it bored me; when I knew it was wrong, I was happy. So the false optimism, the modern happiness, tires us because it tells us we fit into this world. The true happiness is that we don’t fit. We come from somewhere else. We have lost our way.

–G. K. Chesterton,
Tremendous Trifles

Survivors of a Wreck

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My haunting instinct that somehow good was not merely a tool to be used, but a relic to be guarded, like the goods from Crusoe’s ship—even that had been the wild whisper of something originally wise, for, according to Christianity, we are indeed the survivors of a wreck, the crew of a gold ship that had gone down before the beginning of the world.

–G. K. Chesterton,
Tremendous Trifles

Things Are Not What They Seem

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Things are never what they seem. If you would see things clearly you must see with the eyes of the heart. That is the secret of every fairy tale, because it is the secret to the Gospel, because it is the secret to life.

Scripture tells us that we might at any time entertain an angel simply by welcoming a stranger. The serpent in the garden is really the Prince of Darkness. The carpenter from Nazareth—there is more to him than meets the eye as well. Things are not what they seem, and so if we would understand our lives—and especially our marriages—we must listen again to the Gospel and the fairy tales based upon it. There are larger events unfolding around us, events of enormous consequence. A lamp is lit and love is lost. A box is opened and evil swarms into the world. An apple is taken and mankind is plunged into darkness. Moments of immense consequence are taking place all around us.

–John Eldredge,
Love and War

Noctivigants

darkSurprisingly, there are creatures which actually prefer darkness to light. Zoologists call them “noctivigants” and the tribe is more numerous than we commonly suppose. Moths and spiders, bats and owls, rats and mice are all noctivigants, and among larger animals, so are cats, panthers, leopards, tigers and other members of the feline family.

These creatures love darkness rather than light. Asleep by day they prowl abroad in the dark.

Biologically speaking, man is not a noctivigant. He does not prefer natural darkness to natural light. However because of a tragic inner twist that took place through an event called The Fall, humans have become moral and spiritual noctivigants.

Jesus himself gave us this powerful insight: “Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed” (John 3:19,20 NIV).

Ever wonder why some people fiercely attack faith in God and oppose belief in Christ, the Light of the world?

That’s what noctivigants do.

They hate the light and try to put it out.

–Jurgen O. Schulz