Immortal Horrors or Everlasting Splendors


C. S. Lewis

C. S. Lewis was an amazing man. I was recently listening to an Ask Pastor John episode discussing C. S. Lewis and John Piper describes Lewis as a Romantic Rationalist. He is one of the few people to be wholly rational and yet wholly able to feel and experience the world. Lewis speaks frequently of joy in a very methodical and clear way.

While I was listening, Lewis again blew me away:

“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

Nations, art, and culture are mortal, but I am not.

This is profound. The creatures I pass at work are in their most humble condition today. They don’t even recognize the grandeur that being created in the image of God gives them. Far from people being boring or annoying, God has made them magnificent creatures: either “immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

And those amazing creatures will one day look toward Heaven and see a God so immeasurably beyond what we can imagine that they too will bow to him: either in fear or in joy.

I don’t view people this way. I often see them as nuisances or annoying.  Even my own children can become burdensome to me. I don’t see them as fellow heirs of an eternal kingdom with me, I often see them as barriers to a good night’s sleep.

Shame on me.

So don’t be as foolish as I am. Look at the people close to you and realize that they are delightful beings with a grandeur reflecting and eclipsed by the God who made them in his image.

He must be a great God indeed.