Chained in by goodness

Not that I knew he ever existed yesterday, but I agree with Sholem Asch, a celebrated Jewish author eventually scorned by his people for promoting Christianity, who stated quite simply, "Writing comes more easily if you have something to say." He must have known something worth talking about.

Usually I neglect reading in favor of writing, forgetting that, as pointed out above, we must have an inspiration for our thoughts. I don't need to read, I think. But really, I am no great creator or artist, because I can only respond and copy. Basically, I realize I must read a lot more than I do now. My mom always said, "All great writers are readers..." and there's probably more truth in that than I would like to admit.

Another great quote from Theodore Dreiser that I so identify with: "Words are but the vague shadows of the volumes we mean. Little audible links, they are, chaining together great inaudible feelings and purposes." Do you ever feel like that? When you write a thought out, attempt to communicate an emotion to someone, words almost always seem unable to work, or they just don't always function for the purpose they were intended to serve. So let that preface the following thoughts on Paul and C.S. Lewis.

One of my favorite verses, that startles and alarms me every time I read it, goes like this, "It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all." In 1st Timothy chapter 1 verse 15, Paul declares himself in total unashamed confidence as the worst of all sinners. Is he joking? I think to myself. No, he really isn't- in fact he actually believed that to be entirely true.

I'm really pretty good, I think many times.
I don't know what I'm supposed to confess right now.
I can't think of much sin that's really present.

On the front end of C.S. Lewis' drastic conversion, he wrote the following, quite humbling words,
"You must picture me alone in that room at Magdalene, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England."

How ironic, that these two, incredibly admirable men in the Christian faith, had a habit of labeling themselves as the worst sinner of all, the most hesitant above the rest...in total sincerity.
I'm coming to understand that the more we see the depth of our sin, the more we'll see the depth of God's grace.
I want to pray that the Lord would surface my sin,
that I could say without doubt or comparison or pointing a finger,
"...among whom I am foremost of all-"
only then do we grasp the joy we were meant to experience in the fullness of grace-