Monday, October 5, 2009

the deeper magic

Lately I've had this one phrase running through my mind. And no, it has nothing to do with the recent travesties committed against me at the Philadelphia Airport.

It has a lot to do with love; everything to do with love.

And it's a question, though not my question.

I am not going to pretend I am someone I am not; someone perfect or holy or even kind all the time (cause remember when I didn't even want to tell that man on the airplane, God bless you? yeah.)But I will say that I do think that God is real, that he cares about what goes on here, and more specifically, about our hearts.

And just lately I think he's been dropping this question in my mind, At what point does love run out?

And then actually wanting me to answer. And the thing about God is that he's really patient; I mean he's like a billion years old or something and he's never gonna die, he's got the time to wait for an answer.

And well, if love doesn't run out the first time somebody runs you over, leaving you gasping for breath at the pain and limping down a long road you didn't even know existed, does it run out the second time it happens?

I am going to say no.

And if it doesn't run out the first time, then it doesn't run out at all. Or at least it doesn't have to. The same kind of powerful forgiveness that took away your limp after your first wound is still here. Somehow. It's just as powerful. Somehow. It's an ever-present miracle and it's in high demand because to the same degree that we need it to heal us, we need it to heal those we hurt.

It's like the deeper magic.

You know, from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis.

Oh, you weren't raised on this story? Ok, let me explain a little.

There's this witch. A white witch, which doesn't make the fact that she is a witch any better. She's nasty, keeping the fair land of Narnia in winter, but never ever Christmas, which is just plain mean. Anyway, this one kid, Edmund, turns out to be a traitor against her, giving her power over him, according to the law of the land. So the White Witch declares: "That human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property."

But then this big beautiful lion, this perfect creature, Aslan, gives his life in Edmund's stead. And that act of pure love sparks something in motion that the simple law could never do. It brings life and freedom. It brings springtime to the land. It speaks of something else. Something better than the natural law, and here, after Aslan comes back to life, he explains it:

"...Though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who has committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.”

I desperately love the idea of death, that natural progression to all things on this earth, working backward.

It's sounds a lot like forgiveness to me. Like how when we're hurt, we want to lash back out. It's natural, it feels right. It's our right as the injured one.

And love at that moment feels all kinds of wrong and backward.

But maybe, just maybe it's the deeper magic. Maybe I can look further back than that which is obvious to all of us, to me.

Because I don't think that love runs out. Ever. At least that is the kind of world I want to live in. The kind of world where the deeper magic is at work and springtime breaks through the seemingly never ending winter.

Yes, there is pain. Yes, we are wronged, unjustly attacked, and must grieve over our losses. And yes, it doesn't look like that will change any time soon.

But I want to look beyond that and see the deeper magic. I want to discover a love that doesn't run out. Which is so much easier to write than to live, but here's to trying.

Here's to trying.


jason said...

Well, what is very obvious to me is that everyone who you love is very lucky to have that love.

jason said...

(except me. I deserve it fair and square.)

christine said...

Beautifully said Jess. What an amazing example and source of love we have in Jesus. I will be carrying your words with me today. I also second Jason's sentiment.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Christine--do you agree with Jason's first comment or his second? :-)

jason said...

If I know Christine, I'm guessing she was responding to the second one.

Sachiyo said...

Jessica, This is Sachiyo from Japan (who asked you about sandwitch stand).
It is really worth to drop into your blog. I really hear your words and this is exactly what I was wishing for a fact I had to broke up with my boyfriend some months ago. Moreover you are the first person whom puts it into the words so right way and clarify my feeling. I am happy to know I am not the only one who is "trying". I feel you are brave person and you gave it to me too. Thanks !

Jessica Latshaw said...

Hi Sachiyo! I'm sorry you had to break up with your boyfriend; break ups, though necessary at times, are still so painful. I am glad you can find encouragement here and thanks for your kind words:)

p.s. did you ever get to make it out to the Earl of Sandwich? Mmmmm...I still think of those sandwiches and really miss them!

Sachiyo said...

Oh yes, I made it ! Thanks for the very important info. as well. I love eating and bread. I told the owner about your blog and he was so happy saying "It is such a compliment!!".
I think he/sandwitches miss you too...

It is midnight here so good night.
Have a lovely day for you :- )

christine said...

Haha...I almost clarified which one I meant because I thought one of you may make a comment...I don't know why I didn' was the second for sure : )

Sachiyo said...

I feel I never learn to spell "SANDWICHES"...
Anyway... :-)

James Ricardo The Actor said...

One of my favorite posts of yours! Keeping me deep in thought! Beautiful!

peaj said...

My problem is that I love eating and bread too.

Anyway, well said, Jess. My darling wife has a cool take on the idea of how we respond when we are hurt. She says, rightly, that when we are hurt, we are owed a debt. As you said, it is natural for us to want to hurt in return.

What she does instead is pray along the lines of, "God, I am owed a debt by this person. I want to be paid by having you bless them. I want my debt paid with your grace being given to them. I would consider that compensation for my loss."

Very cool idea. She's so smart!

kathiek said...

I's to trying...and, thankfully, we even get help with that.

jason said...

""God, I am owed a debt by this person. I want to be paid by having you bless them. I want my debt paid with your grace being given to them. I would consider that compensation for my loss.""

Wow, Peaj, remind me to hurt your wife's feelings more often! That's really cool.

(And I'm just kidding, I don't want to hurt her feelings.)