He said it so casually I didn’t realize why I was smiling.
“….don’t mean to sound curmudgeonly…”
I think my brain giggled with delight a bit and when I went back to retrieve a reason, there sat “curmudgeonly.” It was more than just that word, but it could have been just that word as well that tickled my imagination like the first sprinkles of a storm. The conversation rolled on and the excitement came like waves on waves.
What is this? This thing that doesn’t make sense and doesn’t make money and doesn’t return anything but bubbling delight that wells up from my innermost soul? And how can I get more of it?
C.S. Lewis spoke of the unique chemistry of friendship that exceeds our efforts to manipulate a similar result.
“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
This man on the phone is still a stranger, but I can confidently say his words were no accident – even if just to wake up a part of my imagination that should not have been sleeping. As we talked about writing and creativity and living slowly to savor the beauty, it was like seeds scattering on freshly wintered Spring soil.
This one silly, long-syllabled word was that dusty ray of light peeking through a crack in the door to salute the sun outside. After I hung up, I stopped pacing the floor to look at my scribbled notes. What a beautiful and funny thing, language. It is reminding me there is an empty seat where I should sit among those who act as instruments through which God reveals His beauty.
This. I need to do more of this and talk with people who bring out the beauty of God’s fingerprints in me while I watch God reveal His fingerprints on them.
2 thoughts on “an empty seat where I should sit”
I thought I was Lewis’ greatest living fan. He remains
I agree! I am reading a new biography by Alister McGrath on Lewis and it’s making an even bigger fan of me. 🙂