Press

Sometimes you have to press it. Just push against the painful spot until the pressure builds behind your eyes, turn the music up and sing until your throat is scratched and dry. You push and press, prod and push and then the tears can come. You wonder how the sun can set so beautifully over a bay and a city in which there is so much pain, as if the God of the setting sun was indifferent to all that lies beneath the deep red-blue gradient of his twilit sky… They say it’s backwards to think that earthquakes and storms and floods and droughts are punishment for the sins of a nation but… don’t you sometimes wish it was? If each and every subsequent dusk was less beautiful than the last, would we change? If mountains crumbled and trees died slowly, as if each and every one was personally injured by the way we scratch and neglect and hate one another, would we wake up?

I think it is a sweet mercy that our minds’ and bodies’ response to time is viscous, that it is not sudden. To be able to go through a particularly dry time, or to struggle dishearteningly against bouts of lust or greed… and then to realize that you aren’t back at square one, that Beauty and Goodness still defend their strongholds, hard earned over the years, in your dark and wasted heart… is a sweet sweet mercy. To be shrouded in your own depravity and to still be taken aback by a kind deed in a dark situation, or an achingly beautiful horizon, to be awoken by no effort of your own from your self-imposed sin is an amazing grace.

God you make the clouds rain and the sun shine on all of us. You redeem even our sin, our most broken places. Foolish pride is broken and humility springs from the rich soil of your blood. In our dirty humanity we built up that high Tower. The tower you broke when you broke our speech and with it, our ability to truly understand one another. But then, oh glory, up from out of the rubble a thousand tongues with which to sing your praises.

That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, “No future bliss can make up for it,” not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory. And of some sinful pleasure they say “Let me have but this and I’ll take the consequences”: little dreaming how damnation will spread back and back into their past and contaminate the pleasure of the sin. Both processes begin even before death. The good man’s past begins to change so that his forgiven sins and remembered sorrows take on the quality of Heaven: the bad man’s past already conforms to his badness and is filled only with dreariness. And that is why, at the end of all things, when the sun rises here and the twilight turns to blackness down there, the Blessed will say “We have never lived anywhere except in Heaven,” and the Lost, “we were always in Hell.” And both will speak truly.’

– C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

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~ by justinhong on October 19, 2012.

One Response to “Press”

  1. i like this

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