Monday, June 10, 2013

Hushed by Perelandra and Peonies

Everything in me feels hushed. Not even by my own doing, but by some giant force of quiet on my soul telling me it's time to step closer, lean in, slip off my shoes, look for the shimmer on the surface of all things. It whispers that all things fallen were at once perfect, and perhaps can be once again.

It nudges that the kind of beauty that aches and hurts and craves isn't a bad thing. C.S. Lewis wrote in Perelandra,

“Long since on Mars and more strongly since he came to Perelandra, Ransom had been perceiving that the triple distinction of truth from myth and both from fact was purely terrestrial - was part and parcel of that unhappy distinction between soul and body which resulted from the fall. Even on earth the sacraments existed as a permanent reminder that the division was neither wholesome nor final. The Incarnation had been the beginning of its disappearance. In Perelandra it would have no meaning at all.” (emphasis my own)

And it was this paragraph that made me gasp a little as I read. I remember driving to a friend's house and thinking about how it all makes sense if it's not all supposed to be disconnected.

The amazing.
The unimaginable.
The fairytales and folklore.
The hunger for love and goodness, happy ever after and an untouchable world.
It's all just a giant looking glass into a world that exists just past the edge of the horizon. A shadow behind the sheen. A silhouette behind the veil. 
Just beyond the gray-washed cloak of this post-Eden world.
The kingdom of God is not a far off place. The division was neither wholesome nor final.

All of these things aren't the end all. The end is not the beauty. The beauty is the beginning of where there is no end. I don't want to receive Grace and hide it away. Grace is not the end. Grace is the birth to all of the things that we once counted as lost. 

So then, in light of all this, I feel hushed. And quieted. 
I wonder if everything good in my life is a shimmer of all the things that are actually good, or meant to be good, or will be good.

That all winds of love and joy here are small tastes of what is complete in God. From the clip of a peony, to the sweetest kiss of love from my daughter, in rainstorms and early camp mornings, coffee and poetry, art and down comforters, long tree-covered walks and gentle words of forgiveness. And even the pain. The hurt. The hard tears, the disappointments, the shell-shocked moments. All pointing to a sheer veil that will be lifted.

Soon, I pray. Lift soon

I tell my sister that I don't know how, or if it's even possible, to live in such a manner that all is a reflection of God and his goodness, his abundance, his faithfulness to the end. I don't know how to do it, when I'm annoyed that the floors aren't swept, or dishes aren't done, or whining is the only language my daughter knows how to speak.

How do I speak a language of another world within a world that feels so utterly disconnected and broken from how things should be? This grace, this hush — it's tethered to my soul and keeps pulling me back. At dawn. At dusk. Grace is rich and speaks quiet and a curtain twists slowly in the breeze, and I know it's so close and here


  1. that warmed my heart. I've been feeling for a while now that eternity and God isn't something to be looked forward to, but that it's all here, now, despite the fact that so much is broken. Including my sight. If we could clear our vision, I feel like life would be incredibly wonderful, God in everything and Me in it all. Thanks Andrea.

  2. Oh, Andrea. I seriously wish we could sit down and talk long about these things. I feel like this has been a season, maybe a year, of quieting here, and what you wrote here resonates so deeply with me. I've been thinking long about the people I know who've lived with their hearts set on that kingdom coming, and what marks their lives - humility, delight in prayer, serious wonder and deep joy. I'm leaning into those things - kind of fumbling into them really.