Monday, November 5, 2012

The Real Issue

Have you ever read C. S. Lewis's Till We Have Faces?  I remember Dad reading it to us when we were younger, and it was universally lampooned by the children in the family (us) as being nonsense and depressing.  I read it again in high school...and what do you know, books do get better with age.  There's a bit right at the end where the main character is brought before the gods for her trial (this is based on the myth of Cupid and Psyche, by the way, with the main character being Psyche's ugly big sister, Orual).  She is bewildered to find that it is not herself being tried...instead, she is asked to bring her accusations before the court.  A scroll is handed to her that she protests she did not write, but she is commanded to read it out loud anyway.  And as she reads, she recognizes that, though she may not have written the scroll, the feelings and the accusations are her own.  She accuses the gods of stealing her sister, blasting her own face, cursing her for no reason, taking from her all of her joy, deceiving her, mocking her, and on and on until the voice tells her to stop reading.  At this point, Orual realizes that she has been screeching the words on the scroll and that she has already read it through several times, as if on repeat.  She has finally heard her own true voice, without justification, without virtue, without any redeeming quality screaming about its rights and how it has been wronged.  She finally sees how bad it really is.

As the sun went down this evening, I heard that voice myself.

Go tell the dispatchers!  Tell them to just give you all the flights tomorrow, or at least to skip Mr. Comparaholic a few times in the rotation!

My teammate had been at his tricks again this evening, this time claiming outright that he "always" flies more than I do, that he does "most of the work around here."  My right to the reputation of being The Hardest Worker was threatened.  I wanted to get even.

At least go let them know that he's thinking that way, that there may be trouble.  Go tell them, tell them now!

By the time I was finished rinsing my engine, I felt like I'd responded to every argument and ploy my childish inner voice kept screaming at me, but it was like it was on repeat.  It sounded panicked and wouldn't shut up.

You have to fly more, at least for tomorrow!  Hurry and talk to them, convince them!

My only relief was when I physically looked up and mentally focused on remembering.  Emily Freeman says the biggest trouble good girls face is forgetfulness...they forget who they are, they forget where their strength really lies, they forget the invitation to trust and the promise of rest.  They try to fix it themselves because they forget that that isn't their job.  So I focused on remembering...
My worth doesn't come from my reputation.  I don't have to be the Hardest Worker because that isn't what makes me valuable anyway.  I need comfort, comfort comes from the Father, the Father hasn't left me--
...and that seamlessly flows into prayer.  The prayer ends when I get distracted, the Voice comes back, hurry up and talk to the dispatchers before they leave!, which leads back into the cycle again.

The Good News really is good.  There really is freedom in the here and now.  It is possible to be free of this Voice that hounds me, demanding that I be perfect, demanding that I demand my right to look perfect, even if I can't be perfect.  It's kind of a messy process, eh?  Messy.  Annoying.  Can this really be the work of God?  I think it is.  Maybe it isn't traveling to Africa or saving exploited women and isn't even raising a child of my own or building a stronger marriage this's just me.  Just me learning to trust God to be my God so that I don't have to try to be my own little god anymore.  That's the real issue.  For now.


  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Heidi - so good! I'm proud of you :). I don't remember anything about Till We Have Faces, except what you alluded to at the beginning (depressing...). Sorry about your coworker :(

  2. I am so grateful for your words today... Thank you. : )
    That book has been on my mind frequently lately as well.


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