|This photo has really no relevance to this post except that it's nearly Christmas. And I love snow.|
“...the sun looks down on nothing half so good as a household laughing together over a meal, or two friends talking over a pint of beer, or a man alone reading a book that interests him..." -C. S. Lewis
Trying to sum up exactly what I'm wanting to convey in this post may be rather difficult. I'm afraid it's one of those subjects that is hard to bring up and harder to do justice.
I'm talking about Thankfulness For Being Alive and the Many Wonders of People and Relationships and Long Talks about Heaven and Literature and Unashamed Excitement about Many Things.
I've got some pretty crazy awesome people in my life. It's easy in the middle of the messy, uncomfortable, dirty parts of my life to forget how I've been blessed, in small ways and in large.
For some small ones, take snow. It tried to snow a couple times this past week and though it didn't stick around, I wondered (again) at the beauty of it, arriving in waves from the sky and giving the air that crisp, vibrant wintery smell.
Another small thing: Meals with friends. I got to eat a meal with my Bible study group this week, and then another meal with a friend's family the next day. There is something very simple and beautiful about eating together. Especially when you pay attention to all the little details, the way people laugh, the jokes they laugh at, the little looks they give each other as sarcastic (but loving) comments make their way around the table along with the casserole and the cookies.
On to some of the larger things. I had Bible study small group with two girls on Thursday night. We ended up talking about emotions and fears and Psalm 25 and then we got to pray together. I got a fresh appreciation for the way they loved Jesus and, by consequence, loved me.
Then on Friday night I went to a "nerd Christmas party" with my literature group. We talked about everything from science fiction to music, but the part of the conversation that engaged me the most was when we talked about Heaven.
C.S. Lewis talked about Sehnsuct in a few of his writings; the uncanny longing in every human soul for joy, true joy, and for something just beyond our grasp and not found on earth.
"That unnameable something, desire for which pierces us like a rapier at the smell of bonfire, the sound of wild ducks flying overhead, the title of The Well at the World's End, the opening lines of "Kubla Khan", the morning cobwebs in late summer, or the noise of falling waves."
The conversation on Friday night gave me a fresh dose of Sehnsuct. We have this promise that God has gone to prepare a "place for us."
Don't all humans want a place for us? We seek it out in so many ways, but I would venture to say that many of our endeavors come back to this longing for a place. What amazed me was contemplating afresh this. We have this hope beyond worlds, this hope and faith that there will be a Place for Us, and that Christ himself, the chief Person we were created to glorify and love has designed it.
He painted our name on the door with His blood.
Doesn't that just drive you speechless? It doesn't often enough to me, but it should, and when I feel Sehnsuct most deeply and realize that it's fulfillment is in Jesus, then the silence and the peace fill the rivers of my soul again.
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal.” -Lewis, again (and I shall never stop quoting him, never)
Being with people that share this longing for a Place and a Person is one of the best things for my soul.
These people are excited about Life and about Miracles. They are unironically enthusiastic about stories and music and Truth in Literature. They appreciate mysteries and mountains and the place above the tree line where the silence is deep. They talk about Heaven and their eyes light up.
You can see in their smile that they are not talking about a place they are mildly interested in.
No, in these people, I see the fire blazing because their souls are alive, and they are seeking after the Person and the Place they were made for.
I am ridiculously blessed by God in the gift of knowing them.