Monday, September 10, 2012

Weight of Glory

Part of our job in EDGE Corps includes going through a curriculum, and one of the first things we were assigned was to read "The Weight of Glory" by C.S. Lewis. This guy pretty much blows my mind anytime I read anything by him, but with a title like that I knew this one was going to be extra explosive to my brain. 

And it was. But the part that really grabbed me, that wouldn't let go of its firm grasp, wasn't actually the main point. It was a small section a couple pages in, that spoke of nostalgia.

Lewis rips wide the secret that each of us has a deep desire for our own far-off country... "the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia and Romanticism and Adolescence." This secret yearning, it is so intense, that we "betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name" when any mention of this desire arises.

But Lewis goes on to explain that we have never actually experienced this in our reality, and that when we get "nostalgic" about certain moments in our past, we would not find the actual thing itself, but rather only the reminder of it:
"The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust in them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things-- the beauty, the memory of our own past-- 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."
This "thing itself," ultimately, is the desire for heaven in each of us, the desire for our proper place, our home. And when we get a glimpse, a tiny sliver of a reflection of this place, we become shy and awkward and desirous and worshippers. Our minds can barely wrap around it, so we belittle it to a memory. A moment. A smell. A tune. But it isn't really any of these that we long for, it is heaven. Eternity placed in our heart.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 
- Ecclesiastes 3:11
Sometimes I feel like God must have placed an extra scoop of eternity into my heart, the desire for it is so strong. I always used to consider myself as one of the most nostalgic people I know. Now I know that I'm just longing for my true home, and trying to label it something else, trying to make sense of it with my human mind. No more will I turn these nostalgic memories into "dumb idols" that will just break my heart. I will go to God with them, and acknowledge that I am longing for Him, and that He alone can satisfy my deep yearnings.


  1. POWERFUL! Thanks for sharing!

    Some day we will all share in our 'true home' together! Come Lord Jesus!

    Love you!

  2. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. These are new thoughts for me. I should read this book!

    1. It's actually just a short PDF... here's a link!

  3. Heather, this is good stuff. Thanks for sharing, and keep on writing/learning/listening! Praying for you and the EC crew :)


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