Patches of Godlight – the chase

By Dave Henning / October 25, 2022

“Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy.  These pure and spontaneous pleasures are ‘patches of Godlight’ in the woods of our experience.”- C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm

Timothy Willard concludes Chapter 16 of The Beauty Chasers as he notes that C. S. Lewis compared chasing patches of light in the woods to chasing beauty.  And if we pay attention, we’ll learn from these patches of Godlight.  Furthermore, chasing these patches fills us with anticipation.  Hence, that becomes our constant posture and perspective.  Timothy adds:

“We’ll live preoccupied with scanning relationships and daily experiences for Godlight.  Our hearts will stand at attention, waiting for arrows of joy, as Lewis liked to call them. . . .  A Beauty Chaser notes the details of this world and interprets them as clues to the unfolding love of God, wrapped up in Godlight.”

However, Tim cautions, we must keep in mind that chasing beauty is not safe.  Because quests never are.  As a result, the author exhorts, we must prepare for both pain and glory, epiphany and despair, longing and joy.

Yet, to experience beauty, Tim asserts, you need to do one thing: answer the call of beauty.  But you must do more than simply notice beauty and move on with what you suppose matters most.  Rather, beauty exists to remind us there’s something more beyond us.  Consequently, Tim underscores, those who take the time to notice beauty find themselves changed.

In conclusion, the author exhorts, as people of faith, God calls us to live as incongruent people, saints called to something other.  Therefore, Tim encourages:

“Beauty requires curiosity and sight.  It requires us to think.  It doesn’t move passively upon us or this world.  It makes demands on us.  It says, ‘Be attentive.  Be still.  Be reverent.  Give life!’ ”

Today’s question: When do you find yourself chasing patches of Godlight?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Pushing into him – our Originator”

About the author

Dave Henning

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