The Weight of Glory

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously – no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners – no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat, the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.”

From The Weight of Glory, by C.S. Lewis

I absolutely love this brief passage that concludes one of C.S. Lewis‘ classic shorter works, “The Weight of Glory“. Lewis describes glory as not in being noticed by others and seeking their approval, but being noticed by God. We can recognize the glory in others only when we see them through the eyes of God. 

I also love the Na’vi greeting in James Cameron’s blockbuster motion picture Avatar: “I see you.” This is meant as more than just a greeting or acknowledgement; it is a statement of recognition. I recognize the spirit in you; I appreciate how you and I are alike and different.  There are no ordinary people, no mere mortals, but divine spirits that are at once unique and common because of all we have in common. 

“There are no ordinary people… We never talk to mere mortals… We must play… And our charity must be real and costly love…no more tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment… Your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses.” Quite a standard of living and working together, isn’t it?  Maybe these are the standards of a remarkable life.
  • How do you greet people on a daily basis? Do you really “see” them?
  • How do you “see” the people on your team, in your workplace, in your neighborhood…or the neighborhood on the other side of town?
  • How might you begin to look for the divine – the immortal – in the people you see daily?
  • How might you be more playful in your relationships by taking people seriously?
  • How might you experience the real meaning of tolerance through “real and costly love”?
  • What if your co-worker, your boss, or your most troublesome employee was really the “holiest object presented to your senses” today? How might you treat them differently?
  • What if you were to “see” each person in your path as Christ vere latitat – truly hidden?

Miss “seeing” any one person today and you may miss your experience of Glory.  Greet people well at The Intersection of Purpose and Now.
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About pdncoach

A Go-Giver business coach working with leaders whose success depends on the performance and productivity of others. I coach individual leaders and their teams... in small to mid-size businesses, ministries and non-profits... to accelerate their results and achieve dreams by getting past the difficult, strategic challenges of their current realities.
This entry was posted in C.S. Lewis, remarkable life, team, tolerating. Bookmark the permalink.

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