"The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing —
to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from —
my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing,
all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back."

~C.S. Lewis


Sunday, June 9, 2013

The terrible pain of the kingdom of God

It’s the longing that hurts the most, the beauty so intense it will claw your soul to shreds—or perhaps, make it whole.

We all feel this pain at some point. In horses, I am torn by it most in story—in Shadowfax, Flicka, the Black Stallion. In reading about Tsornin and Bree and Hwin. The longing for that beauty, to be caught up in its transcendence, to reach that place entirely beyond words is so deep for a time I thought of leaving horses entirely: the desire for it was so strong if it couldn’t be fulfilled, I wasn’t sure I could stand it.

It’s odd, you know—a beauty, a longing, a glory, a transcendence so great that it may drive you away as much as it draws you in. I am glad the Lord made it that way, because pain—the grief of having lost something we can’t remember having, of searching for the story we were supposed to live and trying to wake up from the dream in which we seem to be trapped—the pain is sometimes more transformative than the joy.

If you’ve ever felt it, you know what I mean; some of you have, with horses, with why you sought them in the first place. It’s to touch magic with horses. Some feel the beauty, the longing, the touch of the divine in other places: my dad knows it in flying, one of my friends in playing flute. Another is gripped by its power in writing and another in filmmaking. They all agree—it’s the same no matter where in the kingdom you are—the same blinding pain with incredible longing, the insatiable desire for the beauty always just beyond your fingertips, the vision of the way the world was meant to be and the life you always longed to live. The transformative power that drives you straight to the face of God.

That is the kingdom of God, after all.