How good it is to learn from one another! How much we have profited over the years by the writings of others. Dorothy L. Sayers spent much time lecturing and writing on the subject of the Trinity, and in her expositions she emphasised that God had given to us a threefold ability in life, as a reflection of what He is Himself by nature. In this sense, she said that man was intended to create, and that he would never be truly satisfied in life unless he could create something. Some people create with words, others with music, yet others with oils and canvas, and then again, there are a never-ending variety of creative abilities in craftsmanship. The mind sees the finished article, the hands create, and the world enjoys the result. God the Father has the vision, His Son creates, and the Holy Spirit grants to mankind the ability to share, enjoy, and appreciate the result. It is an interesting concept.
In our home, we have bookcases stuffed with all manner of writings, well-worn treasures, authors ancient and modern, reference works, books that George MacDonald called his “friends”, that one may go to the shelf and pick out, sit down and thoroughly enjoy the creation of another man’s mind. It would be wrong to make a list of those who come first in our list of authors, simply because human needs are so varied. What one person needs, enjoys, and profits from, may not be the need of another. However, having already mentioned Dorothy L. Sayers and George MacDonald, it is obvious that we treasure their writings. We’d like to add the names of C.S.Lewis and KathrynLindskoog. In all four of these writers we have witnessed a God-given ability to see through problems and reach devastatingly simple conclusions that are rich and edifying. All the garbage is ripped away, and truth is revealed. The result is a good spiritual meal, continually savoured and capable of being used to help others by quotation.
Here is an example from C.S.Lewis on the subject of God’s love. His ability to highlight to essentials in so few words is amazing.
“When Christianity says that God loves man, it means that God loves man; not that He has some ‘disinterested’, because really indifferent, concern for our welfare, but that in awful and surprising truth, we are the objects of His love. You asked for a loving God; you have one.
“The great spirit you so lightly invoked, the ‘lord of terrible aspect’, is present; not a senile benevolence that drowsily wishes you to be happy in your own way, not the cold philanthropy of a conscientious magistrate, nor the care of a host who feels responsible for the comfort of his guests, but the consuming fire Himself, the Love that made the worlds, persistent as the artist’s love for his work, and despotic as a man’s love for a dog, provident and venerable as a father’s love for a child, jealous, inexorable, exacting as love between the sexes.
“How this should be I do not know . . . We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the Divine love may rest ‘well pleased.’
“To ask that God’s love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God; because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled, by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable. We cannot even wish, in our better moments, that He could reconcile Himself to our present impurities.
“He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense.”
“Though our feelings come and go, His love for us does not. It is not wearied by our sins, or our indifference; and therefore, it is quite relentless in its determination that we shall be cured of those sins, at whatever cost to us, at whatever cost to Him.”
(A compilation from ‘The problem of pain’ and ‘Mere Christianity’)