beauty’s meaning

At the very end of last week we put the finishing touches to our new art of love made known window. Ilkley began its annual Literature Festival on Friday, and so we’ve focused on authors too…

c s lewis window

The window seeks to bring to life the following quote from The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis:

‘The books and music in which we thought beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it wasn’t in them, it only came through them and what came through them was longing. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not yet found, the echo of a tune we have not yet heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.’

which has inspired many of the creatives associated with the Sanctuary in their thinking and practice about how the arts can point to God.

Throughout the window display, to decorate it, we’ve used pages from Lewis’ own books and used gold features coming through them to symbolise the deeper, greater beauty that is coming through them.

c s lewis window close up 1

The window also features a poster with the following text about C. S. Lewis, explaining some of the reasons why he is one of our very favourite authors:

  • Narnia! – and the seven decades of joy, insight and creativity for adults and children its creation led to*
  • Aslan and Lucy – and how they help us understand more about God and following him
  • His inspiration to us as creatives – in writing allegories and through his literary theory about
  • His generosity – inspired by his faith, he gave away 70% of his income once he started earning a lot
  • How contemporary his writing feels when you read it today and how it still helps us live out our faith
  • How he brought hope to our whole nation – during World War II he gave a series of broadcasts to the nation about the basics of Christianity which brought hope to many people during a very dark time (The book that came from these, Mere Christianity, is still helping huge numbers of people understand more about our faith even now, more than 70 years later)
  • How he faced a lot of pain, trauma and loss in his life and didn’t try to explain that away – instead he grappled with how to hold together God’s love and human suffering and wrote about it in a way that again is still helping millions of people facing difficult circumstances

*Did you know? The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe began its life when Lewis was just 16 and he saw in his mind’s eye a picture of a fawn carrying parcels… and then in his 40s he thought “I think I might write a story about that!” Makes you think…


c s lewis window close up 4

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