Monday, May 09, 2005

Till We Have Faces

I wanted to finish the book since so much more reading is piling up. As it is I stay up late doing my Bible reading by flashlight. So I just finished the book. I read the last half in about 2 days. I should know better than to do that. Reading deep stuff so quickly always makes me cry.

I found myself crying at the end, because it was my story, my prayer. The whole story, as I guess Lewis intended, and Orual's final prayer. "Long did I hate you, long did I fear you." Oh God, that was so me! Now, 10+ years after reading this the first time, I understand. I understand so clearly. It moves me to tears (I am crying now). How could I have been so blind for so many years?

I had always thought of Ungit as somehow good. Gods have to be good, right? I never saw that she was a metaphor for all that was ugly and sinful in us - a profane love that was not really love.

It is odd to read this book through new eyes. We are Psyche. What that means I do not know. But reading this book a second time I see many of the layers I missed the first time. This is not like the Narnia series where the metaphors or often easy. This is a hard, deep book, meant for adults. I see many Christian metaphors I missed the first time because my head was with HER instead of Him. It's like how I used to read the Bible and it never made sense. Then, after I became a Christian, it became the most wonderful book and I began to study it with new eyes, and saw many things I'd overlooked before.

And still I feel I've missed so many nuances in the book. Things just beyond my ability to speak them. I had difficulty enough putting anything into words and scribbling notes in the book where I could form the words. Many things, I think, have double meanings. Lewis was a master with words. It has a meaning in the book, and another, deeper, Christian meaning.

All of this went over my head the first time. I didn't understand a tenth of what Lewis was trying to convey. I guess I did not have a face then; I was not ready to listen to the truth, both the truth about me, and the truth about God (there's that double meaning again!).

I could go on forever. There's not time nor space enough to write everything Lewis wove into this story. All I know is I thank God for showing me my life in these pages. That the girl who was first handed the book was Orual, not able to hear the truth, not yet ready for the answer that would unmake her, change her. I know I'm not perfect. I won't truly have a face until the day I die and stand before God. But every day I die a little and become more the woman God wants me to be. "Long did I hate you, long did I fear you." But no more. No more.

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