God Has Written Himself into Our World
C.S. Lewis wrote an essay…called “The Seeing Eye,” and in it he argued that if there were a God, we would not relate to him the way a person on the first story of a house relates to a person on the second story. The ground-floor resident can go up the steps to find the second-floor resident. But God is not someone who merely lives in the sky—he is the creator of the whole universe, earth and sky and time and space, and of us.
Our relationship to God, then, is more like Shakespeare’s relationship to Hamlet. How much will Hamlet know about Shakespeare? Only what Shakespeare writes about himself into the play. Hamlet will never be able to find out anything about his author any other way. In the same way, Lewis concludes, we can’t find God just by going to higher altitudes. We’ll only know about God if God has written something about himself into our life, into our world. And he has.
Lowering the Lord Nelson Statue
At Trafalgar Square in the city of London stands a statue of Lord Nelson. Resting atop a tall pillar, it towers too high for passersby to distinguish his features. For this reason, about forty years ago a new statue – an exact replica of the original – was erected at eye level so everyone could see him. God also transcends our ability to see; the eyes of our understanding cannot discern divine features. But we have set before us an exact representation, “the image of the invisible God.” To know God we must look only at Jesus.
A Place of Revelation
On this earth, then, in our deserts, God personally reveals and names himself. When he does so, his pleasure floods our senses, his beauty engulfs us, and our God-misconceptions are devastated. He moves us from make-believe to reality. The knowledge of who he is and the never-ending implications of being his children overwhelm us.
So Much Straw
Thomas Aquinas, the famous medieval theologian, created one of the greatest intellectual achievements of Western civilization in his Summa Theologica. It’s a massive work: thirty-eight treatises, three thousand articles, ten thousand objections.
Thomas tried to gather into once coherent whole all of truth. What an undertaking: anthropology, science, ethics, psychology, political theory, and theology, all under God.
On December 6, 1273, Thomas abruptly stopped his work.
While celebrating Mass in the Chapel of St. Thomas, he caught a glimpse of eternity, and suddenly he knew that all his efforts to describe God fell so far short that he decided never to write again.When his secretary, Reginald tried to encourage him to do more writing, he said, “Reginald, I can do no more. Such things have been revealed to me that all I have written seems as so much straw.”
Don McCullough in Fresh Illustrations for Preaching and Teaching, p. 91.
Still Looking for inspiration?
Consider checking out our quotes page on Revelation.