by Dave Perkins
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption.”
C. S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”
If you really take each other seriously, if you are humbled by the full extent of another person’s humanity, by the greatness and magnificence of a soul, well I can’t see how you can be anything but joyful about all that. It’s the joy that makes us want to play, like a dog unleashed and running in a park. The joy comes from the knowledge of the greatness of the gift we’re all given.
If God truly made each of us, unique, individual, with a personality and a character and a soul that remains unique and lasts forever, well then government IS a gnat. It’s a temporary arrangement. It’s the manifestation of the list of chores we need to do, for ourselves and each other, before bed.
But if God is not there, if we are not made, if we are not eternal but rather accidents of nature, then government is a towering achievement, a white-columned permanence that rightly makes each individual tiny in its presence.
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