I know it can be hard to love God with feeling. He’s a real person, and from time to time the effects of his love are especially tangible, but all the while feeling love for him is like feeling love for someone you haven’t really met. Or it’s like loving an idea. A true idea, but not one with a particular laugh, an eye colour, a habit of making puns, a favorite food, or a chipped tooth, that you can experience with the senses. So I’m linking to a presentation by Joe Rigney at the Desiring God conference (2013). It’s about CS Lewis’ world of Narnia and Christian discipleship. Rigney makes Narnia new again. And he shares with insight and compassion what Lewis shared so well: the very real relief of being known by God – who holds you to a high standard, who remembers you are only dust, who sees your hurt for no more or less than what it is, who knows exactly how much you are to blame for the trouble in your life, even when you aren’t sure, and who forgives you for your sin even as you repent – God, who loves you, in the full sense of the word.
‘”My son, my son,” said Aslan. “I know. Grief is great. Only you and I in this land know that yet. Let us be good to one another.”‘
Do watch the video. It’s worth your time.
There follows a tangle of words, phrases and languagy things found rooted in Robert Henryson’s Morall Fabillis.
I. sa fast is radicate ~ so firmly is rooted. The root for root!
II. facound and purpurat ~ glossed by Robert Kindrick as eloquent and excellent; looks awfully like fecund and purply, but perhaps those colourful associations were already bleached by the time Henryson used the phrase.
III. jasp ~ jasper, but also generic word for gems of various kinds
IV. laverok ~ lark
V. flatling ~ flat, as in flatling on one’s back
VI. quhilk, quhy, quhat, quhair, quhen… I haven’t located a quho in five minutes of browsing, but I’m sure there’s one in there somequhair.
VII. trimbillit ~ trembled. The ‘it’ ending for our ‘ed’ is wonderful. In “The Preaching of the Swallow,” the fowler pullit the lyne, rippillit the bollis, swingillit it weill, and hekkillit in the flet.
VIII. grunching ~ grumbling
IX. rauk ~ hoarse (so similar to what the raven says)
X. in froist and snaw, in wedder wan and weit
XI. harsky ~ rough (husky?)
Once above the Atacama, Rain lost his grip
and fell from a dizzying height of cloud.
That was unforgiving ground –
he cracked its teeth; it shivered his bones
chips of him fell topaz deep
clattered down as far as opals and corundum.
So it is surprising to hear a hollow
subterranean sputter when one begins to fill
an ordinary plastic bucket
with an ordinary hose
to see the limpid tumbling gems
to be drawn and dragoned by them
to see Rain’s bones unbarrowed,
mended, fleshed with light
[you can almost see him crack his neck, stretch his narrow
frame and so long starved for sun, lift up his suncut face]
to feel desire rise as flame
for some thousand years’ accumulate thought
for a jewel mind so hard and clear
it could dare to scale the sky again.