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  • Writer's pictureLinda Odhner, with photos by Liz Kufs

Excerpted Inspirations #111

[Ransom is on Venus (Perelandra) speaking to the first woman of that world, arguing against Weston’s tempting of her to disobey Maleldil’s [God’s] command. Weston is possessed by an evil spirit. The Green Lady lives on the floating islands, and she calls Ransom Piebald because he arrived on Perelandra sunburned over part but not all of his body.]  “Lady,” said Ransom, “if I speak, will you hear me?”  “Gladly, Piebald.” “This man has said that the law against living on the Fixed Island is different from the other laws, because it is not the same for all worlds and because we cannot see the goodness in it. And so far he says well. But then he says it is thus different in order that you may disobey it. But there might be another reason.”  “Say it, Piebald.”  “I think He made one law of that kind in order that there might be obedience. In all these other matters what you call obeying Him is but doing what seems good in your own eyes also. Is love content with that? You do them, indeed, because they are His will, but not only because they are His will. Where can you taste the joy of obeying unless He bids you do something for which His bidding is the only reason? When we spoke last you said that if you told the beasts to walk on their heads, they would delight to do so. So I know that you understand well what I am saying.”  “Oh, brave Piebald,” said the Green Lady, “this is the best you have said yet. This makes me older far: yet it does not feel like the oldness this other is giving me. Oh, how well I see it! We cannot walk out of Maleldil’s will: but He has given us a way to walk out of our will. And there could be no such way except a command like this. Out of our own will. It is like passing through the world’s roof into Deep Heaven. All beyond is Love Himself. I knew there was joy in looking upon the Fixed Island and laying down all thought of ever living there, but I did not till now understand.” Her face was radiant as she spoke, but then a shade of bewilderment crossed it.  “Piebald,” she said, “if you are so young, as this other said, how do you know these things?”  “He says I am young, but I say not.”  C. S. Lewis, Perelandra (1944), pp. 101-102

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