All I’ve been able to think of since I saw the prompt yesterday are a few lines from Emily Dickinson’s “Tell all the truth.” Other starting points failing, I’ll start with them: Too bright for our infirm delight / The truth’s superb surprise.
“Infirm delight.” As if our power of enjoyment is sick, weakly, housebound, perhaps, or easily tired.
And that makes me think of C. S. Lewis’s much quoted observation in “The Weight of Glory,” that “our desires [are] not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Infirm delight, indeed.
Last night our oldest asked what we meant by “false gods” in the story of Moses in Egypt. We illustrated by suggesting he call a toy airplane “Daddy,” and see if it would help him get some water. He spent the next five minutes going around the room, calling various objects “Daddy” and trying by begging, bartering, singing, to persuade them to give him a drink. Even with his real father calling to him to come and get real water, he persisted in the game, illustrating better than we could have anticipated the futility of idolatry.
I thought of the Lord’s call in Isaiah 55:
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread and your labor for that which does not satisfy?”
Come to Jesus, who gives water of life freely to those who thirst, who can heal infirm delight, strengthening us to receive the infinite joy He has on offer: the superb surprise of God’s grace.
©️Stacy Crouch 2020