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I know it’s a busy time of the year and most of us won’t have time to be posting much in the days and weeks ahead. May you have a blessed Christmas with your families!

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14


The idea that this world is not our true home has been underlined to us in recent events. First our baby went to be with the Lord. Then, my father, who is an unbeliever had his entire stomach removed in March because of stomach cancer. It has spread to his liver and he is taking an oral chemo. He’s doing as well as we could hope for given his condition, but at almost 80 and with stage 4 cancer, we know that his days are numbered. Our 52 year old pastor was diagnosed recently with Hodgkins Lymphoma and started his first of 8 treatments today. His calmness and trust in God in this trial has been an encouragement to all of us. We are praying that God will use these treatments and the radiation to follow to destroy the cancer, heal his body and give him a full recovery.

I just re-read Heidi’s last post and the paragraph she wrote about homesickness made me think of a quote I’d read by C. S. Lewis.

Heidi:So for instance in speaking of the homesickness and homelessness of many in our generation, she speaks as one who is unaware that ultimately all these things pass away, and our ‘homesickness’ is not finally for any of them, but for what they partake of, by pointing to…There is the danger, if we fix our gaze on these things instead of using them as they are given us to be used — like a framed window rather than a framed painting — that we will find we were only ever playing house after all, in the equivalent of a cardboard box — ignoring our real home.

My copy of Mere Christianity is gone, so I searched Google for the Lewis quote about homesickness and found a thoughtful sermon/article at this blog by Bruce L. Edwards, Professor of English at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. The site states that He earned his Ph.D. in Literature and Rhetoric from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981, writing his dissertation on the literary criticism of C. S. Lewis.

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same. Mere Christianity

There were some other good quotes on homesickness from his book The Problem of Pain

To ask whether the universe as we see it looks more like the work of a wise and good Creator or the work of chance, indifference, or malevolence, is to omit from the outset all the relevant factors in the religious problem. Christianity is not the conclusion of a philosophical debate on the origins of the universe: it is a catastrophic historical event following on the long spiritual preparation of humanity. . . . It is not a system into which we have to fit the awkward fact of pain: it is itself one of the awkward facts which have to be fitted into any system we make. In a sense, it creates, rather than solves, the problem of pain, for pain would be no problem unless, side by side with our daily experience of this painful world, we had received what we think a good assurance that ultimate reality is righteous and loving.
–C. S. Lewis The Problem of Pain

The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe, or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home– C. S. Lewis The Problem of Pain

I’m a slow learner, but I think I finally figured out how to use the markup! :o)

I hemmed three sides of three rectangular small squares of material, left the fourth (for now) unhemmed along the white fringy edge of the fabric, draped them over the window, and called them my first curtains.  I sent pictures to several who replied that they did not see the curtains in the pictures. I could tell our landlady, who stopped in to see what I was doing with the place, was a little underwhelmed.  I think that perhaps, if I dress it up with ‘real’ fringe, it will generate a little more awe in those who witness the spectacle.  The problem with making them longer is that then it shuts out the light.  I am supposed to be protecting the house against the cold.  Ha. and Ha. Ha. again.  I spit me of winter.  I would rather be cold than in darkness.

They are a masterpiece of unmasterfulness; having no proper measuring utensils.  Like the cavemen I used a blunt pair of scissors, a length of hair from my enemies, and my opposable thumbs.  The material though you can’t see it from here, is a soft velvety thing, like butterfly wings — except that butterfly wings are much smaller, frailer, and more papery.  It is like — the shag that hangs from the antlers of elk.  Or the furry elephant creeper.   Perhaps analogies from nature are not the most analogous.  But it is very nice, soft material.

I sewed them on my first ‘own’ machine, a Janome toy (advertised as being ‘not just a toy machine’) for beginners with illustrated instructions, which not even I could figure out how to mess up.  The machine is lightweight, superbly easy to use, and is obviously made to withstand the rigors of even real curtains.  I highly recommend it.

July 2018
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