Addicted to Ink

Monday, June 25, 2007

ordinary people

I think somewhere along the way I have blogged about this quote before:

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you 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, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whome we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.

And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner -- no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment."

--C. S. Lewis, From The Weight of Glory.

But all day yesterday, this passage was going through my mind... just with the whole missing-pregnant-mom case, and all that goes along with that (they found her body, by the way. The whole saga is at . And of course, reading The Good News About Injustice, and well, all the stuff I was blogging about the other day.

So much injustice. But thankfully, so much of God's incredible love and grace, too - God's people standing up - and moving - when and however He gives us the courage to do so.

The most horrible acts of injustice are created by humans; yet, to paraphrase a quote by Haugen (Good News About Injustice) - humans are surprisingly easy to kill, yet also surprisingly difficult to kill. And by and large, the human spirit that God has given us tends to be incredibly resilient.

I think the bottom line is that we have great responsibilities - not only as parents, but as human beings in every day contact with each other.

And you just wonder what could make a man kill his pregnant girlfriend in front of his two year old, or pay to rape a four-year-old girl in a police-owned brothel in Cambodia? Who, along the way, inflicted such pain upon these people? What happened to them to cause them to lose their humanity?

And then you think about the person who stood up for others and did great things... like last week, the 21-year-old who risked his own life to rescue two people from a burning, exploding car, then was devastated to realize their was a third person in there. Or the nine brave firefighters who gave their lives in South Carolina, or the good law enforcement agents like my husband who risk their lives often to keep people safe. Or folks like Gary Haugen or my friend Carl, who gives every ounce of talent, every penny, to fight human trafficking. Or the greatest person of all, who died for humanity. Who shaped those folks? Who pointed them in the right direction? What influenced them?

There are no ordinary people.


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