good news for liars

my idea of god is not a divine idea. it has to be shattered time after time. he shatters it himself. he is the great iconoclast. could we almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of his presence? the incarnation is the supreme example, it leaves all previous ideas of the messiah in ruins. most are offended by iconoclasm; and blessed are those who are not. but the same thing happens in our private prayers.”

cs lewis ~ ‘a grief observed’

i have gone to god in prayer. i’ve knelt down and begun to plead my case when there has come a stop, a honesty from the spirit that says this to me –

“you’re lying.”

it was awkward.

there i was making a big deal about praying. i was even crying.

god didn’t waste time drying my tears. and once i realized that he was right, that what i thought was the point of my prayers was truly distraction, i could start to tell the truth.

what is a violin?

it’s a piece of carved wood with strings. if you don’t know how to play it and try, everyone around you will know you haven’t practiced.

better not to play.

better to let it lie and collect dust and look at it from time to time admiring its form. i like the look of it there, don’t you?

are you a musician if you own a violin?

could you play anything that would comfort, that would stir, that would arrest to the point of tears? it holds that ability within it. but if you never pick it up, blow off the dust and set it to your chin, it ain’t going to happen.

jesus is the great iconoclast. which means:

  • a destroyer of images used in religious worship
  • someone who attacks cherished ideas or traditional institutions

that’s a good thing.

and while we all say amen, the violin sits, unplayed and we admire it from further and further distances.

pick it up and try.

go to god in prayer and speak.

the words are going to squeak and blare loud that we haven’t done this in a while, maybe ever. it’s going to take some time, maybe it’ll take years.

but god says this – that at the time he decides he’s going to give center stage to those who’ve followed after the great iconoclast. he’s going to cause others to sit up and take note of the heartbreaking music of your life.

and he does it for his own sake.

repost from the archives and writing with emily

7 replies on “ good news for liars ”
  1. Thank you – I hadn’t come across that quote from CS Lewis before, and it is very timely for me.

  2. but god says this – that at the time he decides he’s going to give center stage to those who’ve followed after the great iconoclast. he’s going to cause others to sit up and take note of the heartbreaking music of your life.

    and he does it for his own sake.

    oh zena. after this week, i need these words. he’s using my pain to play beautiful music. please Lord. play hymns on these rusty strings.

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