What’s your story? Does it begin in a garden, move to desolation, find itself in redemption, and get caught in the great hope of Heaven? That’s the Christian story. The reading for February 24 in A Year with C. S. Lewis touches on the first two parts of the story. We read in Genesis of the first couple. They were pure and blameless, made in the image of God, and set down in a perfect place by God’s design. Every need was filled up in the presence of God and there were no longings.
How then did sin enter? Lewis says that it’s, “the turning of God to self,” that made it possible. Because being created makes a person “somebody,” there is a self, a will, a choice. Humanity saw what God created and said, “No thanks. I think I can do it better.” It is the idol of self, the worship and preservation of me by me and for me. “Since I am I,” says Lewis, “I must make an act of self-surrender, however small or however easy, in living to God rather than myself.” Then, we will changing the arch of the fall and walking through the doorway of redemption.
Lewis says self-will is, “the ‘weak spot’ in the very nature of creation, the risk which God apparently thinks worth taking.” Why? Why does God allow self-will when it’s a wager He might lose? Because there’s an opportunity we might win. Without self-will there’s nothing to surrender; with it, we have the opportunity to freely give it up. Jesus says he came for the broken and needy–the weak lot–because those who are weak realize who can redeem their frailty.
So, in the Christian story, the acts of redemption and Heaven circle back to the beginning and make the weak points testimony to His great love.