Channeling Something True
I’m slowly memorizing 1 John 3. Some scholars doubt that the same person who wrote the Gospel of John also wrote the letter of 1 John. They cite Greek grammar differences for this assertion. Pseudopigraphy is the fancy word for false attribution in ancient texts. It was not uncommon in ancient communities. It is conceivable that some disciple of John the apostle wrote on his behalf to some section of the community he founded. Some think that is the case with 1 John, I do not. Because I feel the connection. As I have these words from 1 John swimming through me, the vitality of the connection is undeniable to me. I suppose this channel of electricity could be conducted through another beloved disciple of the Beloved Disciple, after all it is pulsing through me now, though separated by thousands of years. Yes, my reasoning is completely subjective. I have no more defense.
My Co-Authors: The Mother Delaware, C.S. Lewis, Joy Davidman, and the Apostles John and Paul
This morning I was sitting at the fishing pier in South Camden looking at the Delaware River, and Philadelphia from that eastern bank, and I wrote the sonnet below. Paul made an appearance in my heart song channeled through C.S. Lewis who we remember today on the Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body Blog. C.S. Lewis died on November 22, 1963. Till We Have Faces is my favorite novel of his (Though I love so many). It speaks so clearly to humanity’s uncanny capacity to deny ourselves as who we really are. Orual, the main character, literally covers her face for its perceived ugliness. The mask gives her a sense of power that cannot coexist with the love her sister, Psyche, has for a god who can only be seen by faith. Orual’s growth into the lie that she does not and cannot know this god or any god is masterfully chronicled in the first person narrative (shout out to Joy Davidman who helped Lewis develop it!)
Turning Away from Facelessness
1 John 3 assures us in verse 7 that we are connected to Jesus inextricably when we love on another. We are united with Jesus in his righteousness. “Beloved, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous.” Nothing about our true nature is irrevocable. Our love matters and it’s our love that makes us who we are. We can only rebel against our true selves; it is very difficult if not impossible to become our false selves, our masked selves, our faceless selves. Like Orual, we are not stuck in who we make ourselves to be. We can always be who we were made to be. We can embrace our facelessness, or turn to face the one whose face looks like ours. 1 John 3:2 “Beloved, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” In our seeing the face of Jesus we find our true face. We find the heart of all our unmet longing. We find the forgotten and denied things we lost along the way. We find the foundation of every desire, the pulse of every loving heart. 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Yes!
Facing the Eternal Word
after 1 John 3 and 1 Corinthians 13
You are the Word on the tip of our tongue.
You are the aim of that longing to say,
That word for which we gasp with raspy lungs —
That thought we can’t recall to light all day —
The thing behind the thing behind the thing.
Your bringing-forth being brings forth every quest,
Your at-one-ness at-ones our brought-forth beings
With him whose heartbeat woos us with what’s best,
And breast to breast brings rest to restless worlds.
We did not know we knew but we will find
In your embrace how we can place the words
We could not find with knowing yon of mind.
For though our sight is dimly lit right now,
Our facelessness will fade and we’ll know how.
Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your feedback and stories. Blessings to you today.