So within this hiatus, I have moved, been back and forth from home a bunch, gone to the lake, learned a lot (or a little) of astronomy, and just been kinda going.
I don't really say that to give you guys an anesthetizingly boring run-down of my life, but these things (minus astronomy, nothing good comes from astronomy) have been the catalyzing factors of my thoughts lately. I've been thinking about friendships, more like any and all relationships I have with people. All this reached a pinnacle when I read the "Reflection" section of my worship guide this past Sunday and was bleary-eyed. My main man Lewis punches my lights out again and pinpoints my questions/thoughts/musings into one little excerpt.
The load, or weight, or burden of my neighbors' glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud wll be broken. It is a serious thing...to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendors....Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your sense.
C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory
And what does that mean?? I have heard the end of that before, that we are not just mortal, but souls walking around, and should treat each other with the dignity as such. But to think that "all day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations," has been the side consuming me lately. With which part of myself do I do relationships? Where is my place in them? What do I get to say, or not say?
I have spent a while now feeling sorry for myself for not feeling known by people. And while that aspect is still true in so many ways, it has left me far too jaded on the flip side. What does it look like to live relationships in light of the Gospel? In light of remembering my own redemption and beginning with acknowledging from where I've come. In light of knowing that of all sinners I am the worst of these. I think that's what Lewis meant when he says that only humility can carry the weight of my own neighbor's glory. My roommate's glory. My co-workers glory. That person I can't stand's glory. The random person who sits by me on Sunday's glory.
The overwhelming sense that we are not ordinary and should not be treated as such has been sitting heavily on my shoulders lately. Begging the question in the car on roommate date, at coffee with a dear friend as she talks about struggling at work, on Sunday when I'm sitting alone in a place I so badly want to be involved. It's like a walrus has clambered into my closet and the tail is whipping the hangers, the tusks are impaling the walls, clothes are scattered by fins, nothing is unscathed in its wake.
So I will allow this walrus to rampage, because I think it's good for me.