We Do Not Know

It is impossible for us to imagine heaven because we only know the shabbiness of our earth.  We are three-dimensional creatures playing with the science of a fourth, fifth, and even eighth dimension that broadens the scope of what we experience as reality.  There is much more than we know.

But God knows. He is the author, the playwright of our time. It is HIS story. We aren’t the directors or even the audience. We are the actors. But, we do not know the play. We only know the line as we say it, the day as we live it. We don’t know if we are in Act 1 or Act 5. We don’t even know all the characters, only those who share the stage with us at present.  We do not know what he has in store for us. All we know is the stage as we experience it and some dim imaginings born of the seed of eternity planted in our soul at curtain rise.

“Let us picture a woman thrown into a dungeon. There she bears and rears a son. He grows up seeing nothing but the dungeon walls, the straw on the floor, and a little patch of the sky seen through the grating, which is too high up to show anything except sky. This unfortunate woman was an artist, and when they imprisoned her she managed to bring with her a drawing pad and a box of pencils. As she never loses the hope of deliverance she is constantly teaching her son about the outer world which she attempts to show him what fields, rivers, mountains, cities and waves on a beach are like. He is a dutiful boy and he does his best to believer her when she tells him that the outer world is far more interesting and glorious than anything in the dungeon. At times he succeeds. On the whole he gets on tolerably well until, one day, he says something that gives his mother pause. For a minute or two they are at cross purposes. Finally it dawns on her that he has, all these years, lived under a misconception.

But, she gasps, you didn’t’ think that the real world was full of lines drawn in lead pencil?

What? says the boy. No pencil marks there?

And instantly his whole notion of the outer world becomes a blank. For the lines, by which alone he was imagining it, have now been denied of it. He has no idea of that which will exclude and dispense with the lines, that of which the lines were merely a transposition –the waving treetops, the light dancing on the dock, the colored three-dimensional realities which are not enclosed in lines but define their own shapes at every moment with a delicacy and multiplicity which no drawing could ever achieve. The child will get the idea that the real world is somehow less visible than his mother’s pictures. In reality it lacks lines because it is incomparably more visible.”

We do not know.

~Combined thoughts with Lewis

3 thoughts on “We Do Not Know

  1. I always like when CS Lewis does this because he conveniently leaves out a crucial element to the narrative, which is that the mother in fact threw herself into the dungeon after constructing it, selected the crude artistry of pencils and paper to communicate to her son *and* has the key hidden away all those years. That’s the more fascinating mystery to me.

    But instead of wallowing in the cruelty of this picture, I accept that we do not know even that we do not know.


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