“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.” – J. R. R. Tolkien from The Lord of the Rings
One of the main reasons I admire and look up to writers such as John Bunyan, C.S. Lewis and, most recently, G.K. Chesterson is how powerfully they use words and illustrations to point us to who we are and who we’re meant to be in Christ; who’d we’d be without Him; where we’d end up without Him; and where are focus should be as a Christian. As a writer, I have this fascination and appreciation for certain literature, but these writers take it to the next level because they’re pointing to the center and foundation of my universe: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
Below is an excerpt of an excerpt that was a post in my darling, best friend, Michal’s blog Woman Alive. I love the imagery this evokes and the longing it stirs in my soul. Oh, to write with this much verve one day….
“`My pilgrimage is not yet accomplished,’ he replied sadly. `I have become a pilgrim to cure myself of being an exile.’
“Something in the word `pilgrim’ awoke down in the roots of my ruinous experience memories of what my fathers had felt about the world, and of something from whence I came. “`My grandmother,’ I said in a low tone, `would have said that we were all in exile, and that no earthly house could cure the holy home-sickness that forbids us rest.’ …
“Then he said, `I think your grandmother was right,’ and stood up leaning on his grassy pole. `I think that must be the reason,’ he said–`the secret of this life of man, so ecstatic and so unappeased. But I think there is more to be said. I think God has given us the love of special places, of a hearth and of a native land, for a good reason.’
“`I dare say,’ I said. `What reason?’
“`Because otherwise,’ he said, pointing his pole out at the sky and the abyss, `we might worship that.’
“`What do you mean?’ I demanded.
“`Eternity,’ he said in his harsh voice, `the largest of the idols– the mightiest of the rivals of God.’
“`You mean pantheism and infinity and all that,’ I suggested.
“`I mean,’ he said with increasing vehemence, `that if there be a house for me in heaven it will either have a green lamp-post and a hedge, or something quite as positive and personal as a green lamp-post and a hedge. I mean that God bade me love one spot and serve it, and do all things however wild in praise of it, so that this one spot might be a witness against all the infinities and the sophistries, that Paradise is somewhere and not anywhere, is something and not anything. And I would not be so very much surprised if the house in heaven had a real green lamp-post after all.’
– From Manalive, by G.K. Chesterton.