Describing his conversion, CS Lewis wrote “Into the region of awe, in deepest solitude there is a road right out of the self, a commerce with…the naked Other, imageless (though our imagination salutes it with a hundred images), unknown, undefined, desired.”
It’s a loaded sentence isn’t it? Do you feel it pulling you, inviting you? The first few words make up the title of a book that hit me powerfully over the summer, Into the Region of Awe: Mysticism in CS Lewis by David Downing. In it, the author argues persuasively that for all his rationality and logic, Lewis was also very much a mystic in a classical sense, and that much of his fiction was in fact shaped by the Christian mystics of whom he read much but quoted little. I highly recommend it.
Savoring the book slowly over vacation, it lit something in me once again…a desire to chase God, to lay aside things that keep me from God, to be found by God, to be in God, to live in God, to be sustained and nourished and used and held up by God, for God’s sake, for people’s sake, for my sake, for the sake of all things. I guess that’s a long way of saying it lit in me another round of hunger to heed Jesus in John 15–“Abide in me”–by any and all means necessary. Theosis.
In Mere Christianity, Lewis writes “The whole purpose for which we exist is to be taken into the life of God.” We don’t have wait to die and go to heaven for this. Rather we can indeed have the lived experience of this ‘life in God’ in increasing measure on earth…now. In fact the process of our union with God and God’s life lived through us begins the moment we give our life to Jesus. The rest is deepening and adventure. The question becomes, how far do you want to go in this life?
Everything we do through Coracle is designed to help you go far into God and grow up in Christ, to traverse in the region of awe, and by virtue of dwelling there then being able to engage the realities of our concrete (and fallen) world with a power that is clearly not our own. You’ll see in this email many offerings in the next weeks that will help move move us step by step further and deeper. I hope you’ll look at them all carefully and join us as we simply keep chasing the Real and then letting God have his way with us to encounter us, shape us, ands us as he sees fit. I’m especially excited by this Saturday’s day in DC, some of the retreats coming later this fall, opening a new class of Coracle Fellows, more regularity coming to northern Virginia, and what’s going on in Baltimore. And there’s more to come of course.
Inasmuch as this is all a journey into the region of awe for our Coracle community, I hope you’ll join us on the journey and make it your own too so we can do it together.
“Further up and further in!”,