South Park – North Park – Golden Hill

Saturday, September 23, 2017

'Till We Have Faces with David Roper

'Till We Have Faces

Help me, O God...
I am weary with my crying out;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.
More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
mighty are those who would destroy me,
those who attack me with lies...
O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done." —Psalm 69:1-5

The psalmist sets out to pray, lamenting the wrong that others have done to him. But, as the complaints tumble out of his mouth, he begins to see his own "folly," the wrong he has done to others. 

Prayer works like that: It changes us, a largely unremarked premise C.S. Lewis' develops in his fantasy, 'Till We Have Faces.

The main character, Orual, has been taking angry mental notes throughout her life, bitter at others and the way they have treated her. Finally, deciding to put her complaints in writing, she describes each instance in which she believes she has been wronged. But as she does so she sees her own "face" (her "self"). In a flash of insight, Orual asks, "How can the gods meet us face to face, 'til we have faces?"[1]

So, God helping me, I hope someday soon to see my own “face." Then, perhaps, I will begin to respond to those that have wronged me with greater insight, humility, mercy and grace (cf, Matthew 7:1-5).

David Roper

[1] Till We Have Faces is set in a pagan culture 

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