These are some notes I wrote down a while ago, the night after I watched The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. If you’ve seen it, you know how it can make one’s head reel… I was thinking about how some people claim humankind is improving… how we are getting better, and can ultimately achieve world peace. Such a laughable thought – without God, that is.
These are general thoughts on “under the sun” humanity, the ‘I’ both personal and ambiguous. Sorry if the words are intense, though again if you have seen the movie you’ll understand.. And I apologize if these thoughts are too vague to make sense of, while editing I was still on drugs from getting my wisdom teeth out. 😉

~

I am a sinful creature.
You don’t seem so bad to me, you say. But you know what festers within me, for its stench permeates us all.
Since I was born there has always been a choice. A chance to do right. A chance to fail. Constantly, for years, I have had someone to reprove me. They, through repetition, tell me which inner voice to heed, for I must be told. Now that I am older, I pretend there is no struggle. I scoff the other voice, yet inside I nurse its thoughts and fantasized deeds
I reveal nothing but composure. I am never really pushed hard, so I am never broken. If I were, even I cannot say which voice would show. I avoid tension and pressure, so that I do not break, so that my insides are not revealed. I do not want to show them. I do not want to face them.
My heart lies even to itself. I am like a man building a structure that never knows its purpose or sees the entire. I congratulate myself as I do careful, precise work on every join. I tell myself I’m building something great, and my heart and nearsighted eyes are my reassurance. My hands dance across volume knobs, turning up the tracks singing my praise, drowning out the others. Truth? I tell myself my truth, and wrap myself with comfort.
On the outside,  I believe I am a good person. But I have no idea even what ruler I must measure myself by! And perhaps the standard is in liters and I’m striving for meters.
I lie, most of all to myself.
One thing remains – love. I do not even know how to begin to love. I lavish showy, flighty shadows, though I demand constancy…My faults should be dismissed over and over, while my brittle love for another vanishes at the smallest offense. The intensity of my love for someone depends on how they make me feel. If they make me feel valued, special, wonderful, I love them greatly. If they pay me no heed, make me feel slow and inferior, tell me of my faults, or blatantly ridicule me, I despise them.
I cannot be removed from myself to even know if their offending words are true. Looking for comfort, my heart calls true or false what it wants. My affections for you has its limits. If tried, my love will dwindle,  fail, even turn to hate.

All truth is relative. Yes, let’s believe that. Then I can listen politely to your beliefs but feel no inclination to truly think of what you say. If it is uncomfortable to me, it is your truth.
Then I can find what does not sting me or make me shift, patch it together for today’s creed. I have my beliefs that I stand upon, but do not test me, for I do not know how deep go my roots into them. And my head is easily turned by a winning voice and likesome face.
How fickle my heart.

~

Over the past months, I have been studying Mere Christianity with friends. It addresses these thoughts and many others so perfectly and succinctly. Here are a few snippets to end with, from the beginning of the book where Lewis begins by talking about right and wrong.

…We know that if there does exist an absolute goodness it must hate most of what we do. That is the terrible fix we are in. If the universe is not governed by an absolute goodness, then all our efforts are in the long run hopeless. But if it is, then we are making ourselves enemies to that goodness every day, and are not in the least likely to do better tomorrow, and so our case is hopeless again. We cannot do without it, and we cannot do with it. God is the only comfort, He is also the supreme terror: the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from. He is our only possible ally, and we have made ourselves His enemies…
I quite agree that the Christian religion is, in the long run, a thing of unspeakable comfort. But it does not begin in comfort; it begins in the dismay I have been describing, and it is no use at all trying to go on to that comfort without first going through that dismay.

Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment.
The Problem With Pain

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