I had a thought after listening/reading some works by CS Lewis that perhaps he doesn’t really know how depraved people can be. He talks about how bad people can get with an almost adorable naivety. I read his comments and think to myself “things can be much worse than that.” But then I recall some important facts about Lewis. Like how he fought in the trenches during World War I. How he lived through the Blitz and all the menace of World War II. Just between those two examples I think it is fair to say that Lewis has seen a great deal more evil and depravity than I have. And yet he writes as though that kind of thing doesn’t matter. As if it’s no worse than any kind of everyday sin or badness we might encounter.
He spends more time talking about gossip and the sort of everyday nastiness a bitter person can inflict on his or her neighbors than he does the real big kinds of evils he must have seen through the two world wars.
I think of that and compare it to today. I think of terrorist attacks, Human Rights atrocities by ISIS, war and war and more war. I think of Police brutality and human trafficking (for more info on the last one check out love146). I look around and think “how can Lewis so blithely dismiss it all?”
The answer, is painfully simple of course. “Seek and you shall find.” Lewis is looking for God and for goodness so that is what he sees. I have been conditioned to look for danger, for evil, and so of course that is what I find. Now my conditioning is well intentioned. After all you can’t prepare for danger, or respond to it if you aren’t aware of it. That being said while looking at the world differently won’t cause the world to change, it will certainly change how I respond to the world.
When I look for danger or evil I see it in its worst possible light and if I’m honest, I’m afraid. But when I look for good I still the evil but I’m no longer afraid.
I don’t fear terrorists, I pity them.
I don’t hate human traffickers, I feel compassion for their victims.
I don’t fear war, I pray for peace.
The danger here is not in looking for evil or looking for good, but looking for Christ. Looking for good can lead to seeing the world through rose colored glasses. The difference in what Lewis does, and what he quietly assumes all Christians strive to do, is view the world through Christ. Lewis understands (as suggested in his writings) that there is evil and badness in the world, and that nothing you or I do can change it. However, Lewis also understands that Christ redeems the world just as much as he redeems your or I. So look at the world through Christ, not rose colored glasses or black colored glasses, but through Christ who shows us the people. Just people. Just ordinary, flawed, people.