In our adult forum class we had the privilege of having someone who teaches a class on “the inklings” (CS Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield) give us a brief introduction of C.S. Lewis. We read excerpts of his sermon “Weight of Glory.” To end the class she asked us to underline a sentence or phrase that spoke to us and without commentary or discussion we went around the room and read our sentence. Out of 18 people, 6 of us chose, “There are no ordinary people.” What a gift that is in thinking of ourselves. And how convicting it is when we think of it applying to others, even those we find irritating and even infuriating. There are no ordinary people. Lewis goes on to say, “You have never talked to a mere mortal.”
His words require reflection and concentration. Yet the simple sentence , there are no ordinary people spoke right to the heart of many of us. Nadia Boltz-Weber said, “my experience of God wanting to be known is much more in the person who is annoying me at the moment rather than in the sunset.” The raw messy encounters can lead us to God.
My denomination is in disarray. Many are leaving or disaffiliating. Churches are doing what they call a discernment process. Then they vote and if 2/3 vote to exit, that is what they will do. As I converse with those who are against welcoming LGBTQIA folks, if I could just remember, “there are no ordinary people.” Perhaps I will see them as someone in whom I disagree, and someone who is loved by God. If only they could see the LGBTQIA people as no mere mortal, but those who have the divinity of God within them because ALL are created in the image of God. Maybe someday. In the meantime, I will cling to the reminder that God is trying to connect to me through this anything but ordinary person. Pray for our denomination. God’s love shines through even in spite of our divisions.
Someone responded when asked,
“Why did God harden Pharoah’s heart in the Bible?”
“The only way for a hard heart to change is to let it harden until it breaks.”
Hear the words of Leonard Cohen in his song called: “Anthem”
“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in”
We long to offer God our flawless gifts. Let us instead offer God our brokenness, admitting where we have failed, those cracks allow the light to shine.