The Jesus, Not Only of Calvary

I promised myself I would get back to this blog, and I am immediately going to do so. I'm happy to report I now have my very own copy of The Complete Signature Classics of C.S. Lewis. I also checked out his book The Four Loves from the library, so I'm immersed in C.S. Lewis. What a great place to be! Feel free to leave your comments.

Here's something for anyone who has ever wondered, "How can I manage some communion with heaven in the midst of all this noise?"

Our model is the Jesus, not only of Calvary, but of the workshop, the roads, the crowds, the clamorous demands and surly oppositions, the lack of all peace and privacy, the interruptions. For this, so strangely unlike anything we can attribute to the Divine life, in itself is apparently not only like, but is, the Divine life operating under human conditions.

--The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis, introduction

I suppose this falls under the addage, "We are not humans having a spiritual experience. We are spirits having a human experience." Our model is the Savior not only as a divine being, but as the Divine enduring the natural, mundane, loud and intrusive aspects of earth life. The scriptures are full of references to his patience, temperance, endurance, forgiveness, integrity and fortitude in the face of opposition--this because he was a divine being operating in a crass physical world. Once again, he understands our predicament: life is confusing and noisy and forever banging on the doors of our souls. Every account of his earthly ministry teaches us how to handle it.

Sometimes 'handling it' means making time for quiet reflection (Matt. 14:23). Sometimes it means inviting children into our arms even after we're past exhaustion (Matt. 19:13-14). The answer could be a stern rebuke to unacceptable evil (John 2:14-16), tireless patience for the downtrodden (Matt. 4:23-24), giving or receiving chastisement (Matt. 14:29-31, Matt. 26:38-41), or frankly forgiving (Luke 23:34).

The Savior himself felt frustration, loneliness, bodily hunger and thirst, and crippling heartbreak. These things of themselves are not flaws, only feelings. And he showed by his behavior how to come through it all spiritually unscathed and ultimately healed from all wounds and cleaned of all the sins of an untoward generation (D&C 88:74-75).

As Robert Frost coined, in this existence, there is "no way out but through" (A Servant to Servants, 1914.) Christ went through. His unbreakable line we feel after and follow to emerge with him victorious.

(Painting: He Lives, by Simon Dewey)