Apologetics, Inc.

All Creatures Groaning

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“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing–to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from–my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going but going back.”1

Purging the sacred, but compact abyss of my closet has never been my strongest suit. There is much to unearth—the scuffed heels of high school shoes, self-made wall graphics well-loved by the sun, and books who speak so quietly that I can neither hear, nor dismiss them (to name a few). And it is often the case that the moment I sit down to weed through the hidden messes that have accumulated throughout the years, I find the most sweet and reflective relics of times gone by. I have always loved how, for mere seconds, a juvenile painting or a piece of amateur poetry squeezes my hand and reminds me of those lightning bug flickers of childhood. 

What they do not tell you about these heirlooms is what to do to keep yourself from forgetting your face, that is, until you dust them off again. Why is it that each time I pull away a vital piece of myself, and examine its contents, that my longing for the times past hurts me a little more than I want it to? That is not to say I am ignorant of the kilned clay. But it is to say that though adulthood bears fruit to wisdom, I yearn for the childlike innocence I had beforehand—ingrained in my memory like Impressionist imprints of Springtime’s glorious gold.

In a Postmodern age, it seems as though such whimsical worlds, universally traversed by all, have become wax melts to blank and cryptic canvases. The idyllic realms I have spent my whole life longing for (and I suspect, you have too), have been sorely and sourly reduced to the adult peripheral. The gods of our time are now the mindless leisures we pine for, and our enchantment is the precious lamb flagrantly sacrificed at their feet. As I am now old enough to read fairytales again, I not only mourn for the childhood I lost, but for the voices around me, zealous to stifle it.2 What is it about this longing that The Candle Snuffers plead us to forget? I am convinced it is because they know that these aches transcend far beyond the material, and despite their efforts to extinguish, the wax has hardened and tattooed itself beneath their nail beds.

Most tongues cannot begin to pragmatically describe this sense of deep, inconsolable yearning (or the Germanic ‘Sehnsucht’). In fact, every effort to do so would be futile if our imaginative sensibilities were not to be. But they are to be. And we cannot deny their yield to an existence that flourishes with authentic Joy, and revels in the Beauty we were always made for. C.S. Lewis puts it this way:

“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 never visited.”3

That sacred scent, that distant tune, is a mere reflection of Christ’s Glory, and our natural inclination to it, is God’s effervescent way of saying to us, “Come to me. I will give you rest.”4 When I look to the hills, and my heart groans to be united with the Divine, I simply must conclude that my place, both in heart and home, is being prepared for unity with Him in the country I have yet to know, and yet, have known all my life.5

So, what does this mean for the “Enchanted” or “Re-enchanted,” as Lewis would affectionately call us?6  To put it simply, we light more candles. 

We establish close relations with the Candlemaker. And by doing so, we adorn our lives, and our children’s lives, with a great deal of resplendent Beauty, Truth, and Goodness. We must read, write, share, and cherish those beloved True Myths, stories that instill in us metamorphic preeminence of the Gospel.7 We must engage in the art of beholding forms that communicate the Meaning we were always made for, and our obtaining of it only through Christ. We must be respondents to the call to create beautiful things; apprentices of idiomatic pottery; artists. Of course, ours is but a meek apprenticeship, and far greater is He, the Paradigm Champion. But we do these things not only to ward against idle art galleries, but to participate in the grandest pilgrimage– the one that goes further up, and further in.8

So, when I find myself yearning for the Sublime9 and mourning for the kaleidoscopic panorama it offered to my adolescent eyes, I will look at the collectibles in my closet, and I will rejoice. Because I know that if it were not for the richness of God Himself, and the temporary Edens His common graces have extended to us, unable would I be to look at His face, and consider mine glimmering in His sight. 

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Emily Marasco

Emily is a Contributor for Apologetics, Inc. who specializes in writing, social media and marketing production, and communications.


1 Lewis, C.S. Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, HarperOne, San Francisco, CA, 2017, pp. 86–87. 

2 Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, HarperTrophy, New York, NY, 1994. The Chronicles of Narnia.

3 Lewis, C.S. The Weight of Glory. HarperCollins Publishers, 2015

4 Matthew 11:28, ESV

5 Romans 8:19-23, ESV

6 Lewis, C.S. Talking about Bicycles, Derek Stanford and David West, Ealing, 1946.

7 Tolkien, J.R.R. “On Fairy-Stories.” Tree and Leaf, Unwin Books, London, England, 1970, pp. 11–70.

8 Wordsworth, William. “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey…” Poetry. Foundation, Poetry Foundation 

9 Lewis, C.S. The Last Battle, HarperTrophy, New York, NY, 1994. The Chronicles of Narnia.

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