There is a lesser known book by C.S. Lewis entitled Til We Have Faces. It's one of my favorites. It is a retelling of myth of Cupid and Psyche from the perspective of Psyche's older sister, Orual. Orual suffers when her sister Psyche is sent away to Cupid. Psyche is forbidden to look upon the god's face but Orual persuades her to. Psyche is banished as a result of her attempting to see the god face to face. Orual is left to grow in power isolated from Psyche and any love here on earth. She spends her life wondering about the silence of the gods.
A mentor of mine introduced me to this gem when I was talking about a book by Thomas Moore entitled, Care of the Soul. This book suggests we look deeply into our lives, removing any "veil" we might have in order to see the sacred in ordinary things.
Although the two of these books seem dissimilar, they both dig for the true self - the self beneath the "veil." This is the self that Moses showed bare in the presence of God. When in front of God, Moses removed the "veil."
Now in front of the rest of the people, he put on the veil. At present, in our culture, we seem to have little covering us in that our privacy is dwindling. Whether we're sharing our every move on social media or having our every move on the internet recorded by marketing experts, our lives are less and less private. But lacking privacy is not the same thing as having intimacy. When I imagine Moses standing before God face to face, I see intimacy.
I hadn't really thought of this as a theme in my spiritual life but several books have come to mind indicating I have read and re-read others thoughts about how we might be, become or desire to be intimate with the Divine.
Intimate Moments with the Savior - an accessible devotional book by Ken Gire who describes Jesus in beautiful storytelling and whose writing first made me want to write.
Intimacy with the Almighty - a short 80 page treatise by Chuck Swindoll on slowing down long enough to be present with God, presence being essential in intimacy.
Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating, an essential for anyone wanting to dive deep into centering prayer, Christian meditation.
Developing Intimacy with God, a book that uses St. Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises as a guide to becoming intimate with God.
Intimacy with God is not sweet and satiating. Intimacy with God is a bold, dangerous endeavor. Intimacy with God requires that I know something of myself, that I have looked beneath my veil as Paul suggests in 2 Corinthians. In order for me to be intimate. I must first allow my veil to drop, to come as myself to God.
Intimacy in any relationship requires time and dedication, listening and sharing, grace and acceptance. Moses was intimate with God. Do we dare to be intimate with God?
In Til We Have Faces, the main character Orual realizes that she has spent her life beneath a veil and that if she was ever to have a real encounter with the gods, she would need to remove her veil. She says this, "why should [the gods] hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”
It seems that the promise of transformation occurs when we are willing to have faces, to remove our veil.
Search this blog for a specific text or story:
I am grateful for