Thursday, July 07, 2016

On books, thoughts and choices

My cousin H and I had such good talks this visit.
So refreshing....
I told her a bit about my read of 
of when I was probably about the same age as 
Cassandra (she narrates towards the end about being about 14 or 15),
and I have been pondering this on and off for the last few days.
I hope to write more about it soon,
but the first thing is that I feel that I have gained an ability to understand
difference and went from a culture that was fairly uniform
and very cohesive, one that I am still thankful for today,
in a world that is quickly losing all sense of overall narrative as a society/world. 
One may need to know that my upbringing was very much
in one line of thinking and that I landed in a very difference place as an adult.
And because of this process, I am able to dialogue and engage in conversation with 
many who either have different 'takes' on Christianity and the Church or those who
are in a different state of belief/unbelief than where I find myself.
I think the hardest part to articulate about the change in who I am
and how I can relate to people is in that balance between 
what I believe about the Church, about Christianity and the world.
I think it was CS Lewis who,
when talking about the balance between
seeing the world as 'predestined' and of a world where humans have free will,
in that saying something to the effect of:
I chose but there was nothing outside of that choice.
I think it could be fair to say:
I chose and there is nothing outside of what I chose that I would choose more
and that I see/know/personally understand as that of 'most true' but that
I can love, dialogue with and see other's view and what is most valid and 
having veracity, in what others have chose. 
The other side of this is that if one is not able to dialogue with others
and respect and appreciate where they are coming from,
one will never see change in their self or in others.
One never knows how a loving openness to another could
transform that person or further transform oneself. 
What began this transformation has some levels of irony...
I discovered feminist thought when I was about 18 years old; 
later, when I was at Calvin, I was nearly militant in the feminism that
I was trying to understand and how I saw it as necessary.
It was during that time, and I admit I was a bit of a young bear, 
rude in my feminist beliefs that I was trying to incorporate and understand in my life,
and in addition to this, I did not yet know a lot about the world outside of what 
I knew to be true and was at times unruly in my struggle to understand new things;
I was, at the time, also afraid of new ideas and ideas I did not yet understand. 
This all began to change when I began listening to a Christian radio station at the time,
to the Galatians that opened this wide open to me:
I was gentle challenged to be open to listening to new ideas,
dialoguing with those who are different than myself or who I don't understand.
It was the beginning of a very significant transformation within myself,
my understanding of the world, of Christ and what His Church has within itself. 
I have more thoughts on this, but they will wait for another time.
One a different note, 
today was a wonderful day with simple joys and a very nice 
fish dinner with my cousin, her son and Mr. Husband.
I am so thankful for this wonderful week to reconnect, talk and be with each other!


GretchenJoanna said...

I was very interested in your engagement with I Capture the Castle, which I loved, and with Swindoll's book, which I had not heard of. It's a good writer who can make a fictional character that real for us that we lament her poor choices as though she were a good friend. I suppose that just as we do with our friends, we might comfort ourselves that Cassandra's life was not over yet :-)

Interesting, isn't it, that even when we find true fulfillment of our lives and purpose in Jesus Christ and His Church, we find so much that might not be satisfying without Him, fascinating and satisfying to learn about and to do. I empathize with you in constantly having to deal with this tension of living a full, but also peaceful life. God bless you!

elizabeth said...


Yes! Thank you! Yes, I am still thinking of Dodie's book. I don't think I disliked it, rather found most of it very beautiful and worth thinking on more. I hope to do so in the future!

Swindoll's book came out of his radio series, it is this that I heard when I was 19 and I am quite indebted to it! Would be interesting to see what I think of it 20 years later!

Pom Pom said...

I love your thoughtful prose, Elizabeth.