Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Post Processing

Last month Brad and I spent 10 days in Haiti with a team of teachers from our church. We kept a blog about the trip and you can read the details here.

I'm still processing in my head and my heart all that happened on that trip so I'm just going to think out loud in this space for a little while.

I wrote about living under Babel's curse and the gift of a mediator. But this week I read this poem. It so beautifully (and with much more brevity!) expresses how the need for a translator has changed my understanding of prayer. It is a lesson I never want to forget -- or take for granted. 

A Footnote to All Prayers
by C.S. Lewis
He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow.
When I attempt the ineffable name, murmuring Thou,
And dream of Phaedian fancies and embrace in heart
Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing Thou art.
Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme,
Worshipping with frail images a folk-lore dream.
And all men in their praying, self-deceived, address
The coiniage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless
Thou, in magnetic mercy, to thyself divert
Our arrows, aimed unskillfully, beyond desert;
And all men are idolaters, crying unheard
to a deaf idol, if Thou take them at their word.
Take not, O Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in Thy great
Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.

Marie-Lucie blessed me so. She was able to not just translate the words that I said -- but she translated their meaning in such a way that Haitian women could understand. She changed my metaphors to ones that they would grasp. Like puzzles. They don't do puzzles in Haiti. But she fixed that for me and I didn't even know it until later.

But the thing was -- Marie-Lucie loves Jesus. She loves His Word. And she loves the women of Haiti. And she loves me. God used her in a mighty way to serve us all last week. A living metaphor to the way the Holy Spirit translates our groaning before the King of Kings.

No comments:

Post a Comment