Prayer and C.S. Lewis

“Master, they say that when I seem

     To be in speech with you,

Since you make no replies, it’s all a dream

-One talker aping two.

 

They are half right, but not as they

Imagine; rather, I

Seek in myself the things I meant to say, 

And lo! the wells are dry.


Then, seeing me empty, 

You forsake the Listener’s role,

And through my dead lips breathe and into utterance 

Wake the thoughts I never knew.


And thus you neither need reply nor can; 

Thus, while we seem two talking, 

Thou art One forever, and I

No dreamer, but thy dream.”

  • C.S. Lewis, Poems (1964)

Never heard this poem before today… someone quoted it this morning on the tv. Made a deep impression- of what the unbeliever thinks of us-dreamers taliking to our imaginary friend- oh, if only they knew! 

The Author of the Universe created us all and made a place for Himself within us whether or not we believe. When He is not there within, when we ignore the order and creativity we see around us that is God’s;, we sense the emptiness as a longing for something more; an intangible, almost indescribable “hole” for lack of a better word. We seek to fill it unknowingly; not aware of there being only one “Perfect Fit” for that space. Like the shape sorters of our infancy- the the square block will not fit into the triangle shaped hole. It is only when He is in residence, so to speak, that the sense of contentment, the Fit, becomes a reality-that feeling we get when we are sitting and watching the colors of the sun setting on a really good day. But, that is only a feeling, the reality is with God (Love) we can bear all things and see with new understanding a sense of purpose that wasn’t there before. A purpose that He has given us. 

When I pray- hearing with my heart only- I know that He is present, and, like C.S. Lewis, I become, not the creator of the words I speak; rather the instrument by which those words are spoken. And, as they come I realize that I never had those words in mind; but that they are just the words needed in this moment. The concept Lewis reveals- that I am not the unrealistic dreamer talking to myself in this apparent one way communication ;but that I am the dream that God is dreaming Himself; was a “WOW” to my whole being. It made the connection for me to Genesis 1: 26- let us make man in our image-

If I am His dream, then my life is exactly as He dreams it; something of a paradox at first look. Or is it? When we dream, the dream can be the same over and over and then one night the dream comes again and there are changes in the dream. Like my dreams, or is it the other way ’round? Are my dreams like His- changing as He changes His dream for us? This is too deep for me to explain, I think. 

How do we account for free will? Or does this imply we are puppets and He is pulling the strings? Is the dream we dream out of our control when it changes? Does God change His dream of us based on the choices and decisions we make or are the choices and decisions we make always part of His dream of us and serve to make us who we are? Perplexing thoughts. Free to choose, but destined to make the choice we make because it is His dream? 

Have my thoughts moved from faith to philosophy? The explaining of a thing sometimes changes the mystery of the thing….

If I believe we are created by Him, for Him, then I must believe that there is a plan for each of us, that God has set that plan in motion and that my life has purpose because He made it so- to have purpose. The key, I think, is for me to realize the purpose is His, not mine to own. Are my thoughts, prayers, choices, deeds the working out of His plan for me? I must say yes, and then again-no, and then yes. Does His gift of free will include me making the choices He would choose for me? Does His predestination, and foreknowledge of us, preclude free will? (Romans 8:28-30) Or is it that my will becomes the fulfillment in my life (the working out of my salvation) of that predestination and foreknowledge when I begin that believer’s relationship with Him? (Philippians 2:13-13 ) So, to return to the subject of prayer, it will continue to be an integral part of the dialogue that is my relationship with God; dream and Dreamer. 

Conundrum….of a sort.