Someone told me to write a blog about the beauty of God, so I tried. I sat down, wrote then deleted, about 15 paragraphs, trying to find the words to describe something that breaks my mind when I try to even picture it. I think I got a little glimpse of what it must have been like for the apostle John to write the book of Revelation, and try to use human words to describe something altogether indescribable… Better men than I have tackled this topic, and done a far better job than I ever could, so I will give the stage to one of them. I hope this changes your whole life, like it has mine.
“If a transtemporal, transfinite good is our real destiny, then any other good on which our desire fixes must be in some degree fallacious, must bear at best only a symbolical relation to what will truly satisfy.
In speaking of this desire for our own far-off country, which we find in ourselves even now, I feel a certain shyness. I am almost committing an indecency. I am trying to rip open the inconsolable secret in each one of you – the secret which hurts so much that you take your revenge on it by calling it names like Nostalgia or Romanticism or Adolescence; the secret also which pierces whith such sweetness that when, in a very intimate conversation, the mention of it becomes imminent, we grow awkward and effect to laugh at ourselves; the secret that we cannot hide and cannot tell though we desire to do both. We cannot tell it because it is a desire for something that has never actually appeared in our experience. We cannot hide it because our experience is constantly suggesting it, and we betray ourselves like lovers at the mention of a name. Our commonest expedient is to call it beauty and behave as if that had settled the matter. Wordsworth’s expedient was to identify it with certain moments in his own past. But all this is a cheat. If Wordsworth had gone back to those moments in the past he would not have found the thing itself but only the reminder of it; what he remembered would turn out to be itself a remembering. The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things – the beauty, the memory of our own past – are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers. For they are not the thing itself, they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have yet to discover. Do you think I am weaving a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairytales! Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as inducing them, and you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has been laid upon us…”
-C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory