“Nothing, I suspect, is more astonishing in any man’s life than the discovery that there do exist people very, very like himself.” ~CS Lewis, Surprised By Joy
Lewis wrote this while reminiscing about a boy named Arthur who was bedridden from an illness. The boy Lewis was invited to visit Arthur during his recovery. Lewis knew him as a neighbor boy who had tried many times to befriend CS and his brother, but with no success. But during this visit Lewis learned that he and Arthur shared a love of Norse mythology and Lewis found his first real friend in this discovery that there was someone out there very much like him.
Reading this anecdote from Lewis’s life reminded me of the reason I do what I do here and in other places. In spite of well-meaning concern and even mild opposition I persist in what appears to be an obsession because there are those who need to discover that there is someone out there who is very much like them. Even more specifically, there are some followers of Christ who need the encouragement that comes with finding out that the unmentionable thing they struggle with deeply is also the acute struggle of other Christians.
This inevitably leads to misunderstanding simply because of the nature of homosexuality and because of the intense emotional reactions it generates, especially where opinions differ on its pathology, its persistence, and its prospects in this life. And new thinking on these aspects of the condition has led to inevitable division between brothers in Christ. But so it goes.
And so what some may see as recalcitrance is not that at all. It’s the very real and deep desire to help others who are fighting the discouragement that comes from a sense of helplessness before an overpowering force. And one of the ways that help comes is by discovering that there are others out there with a similar fight on their hands who have persevered in spite of it by the grace of God. It’s the encouraging discovery that there do exist people very, very like themselves.