"God has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense," (The Problem of Pain).
When I read Lewis I either so get it, or it takes some time for it to percolate in my spirit before the meaning becomes clear. This quote did a bit of both. It is so beautiful and so deep and so full of meaning, far beyond what can be seen on the surface.
God has paid us the 'intolerable compliment of loving us'. We have to remember that we are reading a British man's words, not modern day American English. The word intolerable does not mean unendurable or unable to live with as we would read it. It meant excessive. God has paid us the excessive compliment of loving us. And that is exactly what it is. The God who created the universe, who spoke everything into existence, who formed the mountains and made the most delicate of flowers loves us! How amazing is that? How beyond comprehension that this great and marvelous God formed us in our mother's wombs, knew us before the foundation of the earth and loves us with an unending love.
He loves us in the 'deepest' way. He knows our thoughts, He knows our motives, He knows our hearts. And even knowing us that well, and knowing our failings, He loves us. Deeper than we can fathom. He loves us so deeply that He made the greatest sacrifice that anyone could make.
He loves us in the 'most tragic' sense. If you had a family member whom you loved who was put to death, and rightly so for a crime that they had committed, you would mourn them. Your heart would be broken, not only for the choices they had made to bring them to that place, but for the loss you bear. Now imagine someone you love being put to death for no reason at all. For those of us who live in the Prescott area I think of Kayla Mueller, on a mission of mercy in Aleppo. She was taken captive and killed while in ISIS control. How unjust and unfair and painful. Now look at our heavenly Father, He himself asking His Son to give up His life so that we might have life, and that life more abundantly. And then watching as Jesus allowed Himself to be placed on that cross; an innocent man, no sin in Him. Dying a tragic death, an unfair death, a painful death for us. For our benefit, for our sake, so we could have fellowship with Him.
He loves us in the most 'inexorable sense'. I love words, I am a 'word' person. And one of those words is inexorable. I know, I am a bit strange. But that word means unyielding, unalterable. Oh how extraordinary that is! How it takes my breath away to think that no matter what I do, no matter how far I am feel from God, His love never changes. What a comfort that is on the days where I feel as though I have blown it. What a joy that is to rest in that knowledge! Oh how He loves me! And how He loves you!
He has paid us the intolerable compliment of loving us, in the deepest, most tragic, most inexorable sense. Today, every day, choose to love Him in return! Choose to return that love with your life, with your gifts, with your talents. Pay Him the excessive compliment of loving Him, in the deepest, most blessed, most unalterable sense.
Definitions from dictionary.com