Saturday, March 4, 2017

'Til We Have Faces

"More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause... O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done." —Psalm 69:1,5

The psalmist laments the unjust way in which others have treated him, but as the complaints tumble out of his mouth he begins see his own "folly—the wrong he has done.

Thus, in our laments, we may be brought face to face with our own wrong-doing, our proud, defensive reactions, our words not entirely true, our missed opportunities to show forbearance and grace—a largely unremarked premise C.S. Lewis' develops in his fantasy, 'Till We Have Faces.

The main character, Orual, has been taking angry mental notes throughout her life, bitter at the injustice visited upon her. Finally, deciding to put her complaints in writing, she describes each instance in which she believes she has been wronged. But as she does so she sees her own "face" her own wrong-doing. In a flash of insight, she asks, "How can the gods meet us face to face, 'til we have faces?"

As we stand before God lamenting the ways in which others have sinned against us, may He open our eyes to see our own "face," i. e., our own wrong-doing and the ways in which we have grieved God, our sisters and brothers.

Then, God helping us, may we respond with keener insight, greater humility and mercy toward who that have wronged us (Matthew 7:3-5).

David Roper

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