Thursday, February 19, 2009

Coffeegirl Book Club

Chapter 6: The Barrier Breached

"The world had changed forever by the time I replied, an instant later."

I have marked my pages with little tick marks of the passages that have struck me most, but now after reading those final pages I am caught in the emotion of the news of Davy’s inexplicably grave condition. Inexplicable, that is, but for the offering of her life that Van’s soul might be fulfilled. C.S. Lewis’ earlier response to the question regarding prayers of the holy being more efficacious resounds even more with the news of Davy’s prognosis: I presume God grants prayers when granting would be good for the petitioner and others and denies them when it would not.

The other passage that I wanted to comment on is one of the primary reasons I loved this book so much when I first read it several years ago. After being pulled into the intensity of their original, pagan love – the devotion, the commitment and the utter devotion to one another, I have enjoyed following the development of The Shining Barrier and Appeal to Love as Christ was brought into the equation. The implications of Christ breaching the barrier become clear here when Van finds himself pushing against the changes that Christ’s presence necessitates between them.

She loved me, she loved our sharing; but ultimately, all there was to share was Christ and His service.

This truth gives the proper foundation to the love they had originally. Those decisions that we all recognized as being slightly off at the beginning are rectified within this realization that “all there was to share was Christ and His service.” Sometimes I find myself longing for a closeness or completeness from Jason that I know can come from Christ alone. Even though I know that to be true, I don’t always feel it, so I find myself sympathizing with Vanuaken’s dismay over that realization but then celebrating later as he “caught up” with Davy and rejoined her in the journey towards Christ. It again affirmed that those original longings can still exist but they must be within Christ, not separate from Him. After all, for Christian and nonbeliever, there is but one spring of joy.

One specific question for you all from the following quote: It was a longing of the heart that seemingly could not be reconciled with my intellectual commitment to Christ. What longing are you, or have you, struggled to let go of because it can’t seem to be reconciled with your commitment to Christ?

There is so much more to say on this chapter, and I leave it to you all to do so! I have really enjoyed your comments and perspectives, and I again look forward to hearing from you this week.

P.S. As you being the next chapter, take my advice and keep a box of tissues nearby. We’ll have to include a Kleenex count with next week’s postings!


Becky Aguirre said...

I think I continue to be struck with how close Van and Davy's relationship seemed to be. Even as Van described what we would now term as an "emotional affair", they continued to be very bonded to each other. I liked when he said something about they usually would have called a "Navigator's Council" or something like that...I like it that they were able to be just a bit silly in their marriage. I think we could all use some of that to lighten things up a bit at times. :)

This really was quite a chapter and of course, the emotional ending with Davy's diagnosis...just knowing what's coming up does seem to distract from the previous pages. There were some things I thought interesting, one being Davy's love of the wheeled cart that she used to serve. :) That made me smile, imagining her wheeling that out as she served her guests. Another one was Davy's painting of their calling and how Van described it-him arguing about it with his stiff back and she accepting her "low" calling with humility...and then Van said, "it probably led to a throne". :)

And then the question Van had regarding homosexuals thrown in there, too! Seems like there was a bit of everything...I hesitate to comment on this one because I know it can be a sensitive issue, but I thought it was interesting that they seem to label this particular sin no worse than any other sin, just another one that needs to be given over to God and His leading as to what to do about it. Almost like it was a bit of a non-issue?

I am still thinking about your question, what have I longed for that doesn't seem to be able to be reconciled with my commitment to Christ? Every once in a while I think I long for a "normal" life, one in which I don't move so often and we have a steady income, daily structure...and then I'm like, Nah! LOL! But perhaps those longings reflect a desire to live more for myself than for God? That sometimes I would just like to "live", not burdened by a ministry of reaching out to others? Which isn't really a burden at all, of course, but a call and a commitment to serve...not sure really if this answers the question, but those are my thoughts for now...

Angela said...

I read this book years ago. But reading your thoughts on it and the quotes is making me want to pick it up again. :)

Also, I'm enjoying following your blog. Here's mine if you're interested in dropping by.

Becky Aguirre said...

Angie! I had never even heard of this book until CoffeeGirl announced it for the book club...wondering how I missed it! Guess I was going more for fiction...I have really enjoyed it and have loved the glimpses into C.S. Lewis' life. :)

amyinbj said...

The longing that I struggle to let of is this -- sweet little bodies! When I first went overseas there were no sweet little girls in my family. There were plenty of sweet big bodies ... but big bodies don't seem to change as quickly and can communicate for themselves and remember me. I now have four precious nieces (7,5,3, and one years old). Part of me longs so much to be a part of their daily lives and not just a part of the outer orbit. I do reconcile this to my committment to Christ, so this might not be the best example. But I mourn it deeply while moving forward.

Also from this chapter I loved Van's parable of the fall using his dogs. What a great way to explain it to both those whom have never heard and those of us who have grown impatient because we are so familar with the story we want to race to the end.

I'll have my tissues ready! Amy


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