8 Jan

The speaker at my New Year’s Eve retreat was Jerry Root, a member of the faculty at Wheaton College, Illinois.  He is married to the lovely Claudia, and they are the parents of four adult children.  There are five grandchildren two and under right now and a sixth is expected.  They are so busy.  Claudia teaches ESL and holds one master’s degree in something related to education and is working on another, and my mouth was just agape at the idea of being able to take all the classes you want any time.  Think about all that learning.  I am highly jealous.  I might even covet her opportunities, and as we all know that is a commandment.  A real live sin.  It’s okay, though, wishing I had access to the classes available to her as a faculty wife is far from the greatest of my sins.  It might even be my best one.

Jerry told us that one of CS Lewis’s best books is one he didn’t even really write.  It’s called George MacDonald, and it’s a compilation of short snippets of MacDonald’s writings.  MacDonald and GK Chesterton were of significant influence on Lewis.  Now that I am reading MacDonald and have read a small amount of Chesterton, I can see them in Lewis’s ideas.  MacDonald to Lewis to Jerry Root to me.  I feel very fortunate. 

By the time I could slip out of the Great Hall and get to the bookstore to snag a copy of George MacDonald, the Book, there was only one copy left.  I picked it up, saw that it was filled with quotations ranging from one line to one-half page, and I thought that I could skim that text in an afternoon in a hammock, and that I wouldn’t have to purchase it.  Wrong again.  As a child I learned from my father that you must never leave a bookstore without an armload of books because who knows when you’ll get back to a place like this?  It’s a weakness.  Books and shoes.  (Word to the wise: books are less expensive and have the ability to keep you at home, out of trouble.  Not so shoes.  Except maybe houseslippers, and that’s not the kind of shoes I like.)

Once I started to read George MacDonald, the Book, I realized that this one was a keeper.  I think we are going to have a btc book study, an online salon.  The first book we will read together will be none other than CS Lewis’s George MacDonald.  Because of insights and ideas like this one:

[106] Why We Must Wait

Perhaps, indeed, the better gift we pray for, the more time is necessary for its arrival.  To give us the spiritual gift we desire, God may have to begin far back in our spirit, in regions unknown to us, and do much work that we can be aware of only in the results; for our consciousness is to the extent of our being but as the flame of the volcano to our world-gulf whence it issues; in the gulf of our unknown being God works behind our consciousness.  With His holy influence, with His own presence (the one thing for which most earnestly we cry) He may be approaching our consciousness from behind, coming forward through regions of our darkness into our light, long before we begin to be aware that He is answering our request — has answered it, and is visiting His child.

Now what do you have to say about that?


One Response to “MacDonald”

  1. btc January 9, 2012 at 4:28 am #

    I think it explains why I have had the uncomfortable realization at times that all of my foundations are being proved false and falling away. It explains the sensation that I am being sowed inside, Loosened and prepared for the planting of something. It’s a very specific feeling. If it were physical, it would be your organs being jostled around and rearranged. When they do that in surgery, you are anesthetized. There isn’t a corresponding spritual analgesic that I am aware of. Am I the only person who has noticed something like this?

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