The Secret Signature of the Soul

This man's insights blow my mind and put things into words that I never thought could be expressed.

This man’s insights blow my mind and put things into words that I never thought could be expressed.

Any time I start to write a post and have to find a quote from C.S. Lewis, I end up spending forever browsing quotes from him online, because they are all so good.

This quote completely hijacked my blogging attempts for today, and made me start a whole new post about it:

“You may have noticed that the books you really love are bound together by a secret thread. You know very well what is the common quality that makes you love them, though you cannot put it into words: but most of your friends do not see it at all, and often wonder why, liking this, you should also like that. Again, you have stood before some landscape, which seems to embody what you have been looking for all your life; and then turned to the friend at your side who appears to be seeing what you saw — but at the first words a gulf yawns between you, and you realise that this landscape means something totally different to him, that he is pursuing an alien vision and cares nothing for the ineffable suggestion by which you are transported. Even in your hobbies, has there not always been some secret attraction which the others are curiously ignorant of — something, not to be identified with, but always on the verge of breaking through, the smell of cut wood in the workshop or the clap-clap of water against the boat’s side? Are not all lifelong friendships born at the moment when at last you meet another human being who has some inkling (but faint and uncertain even in the best) of that something which you were born desiring, and which, beneath the flux of other desires and in all the momentary silences between the louder passions, night and day, year by year, from childhood to old age, you are looking for, watching for, listening for? You have never had it. All the things that have ever deeply possessed your soul have been but hints of it — tantalising glimpses, promises never quite fulfilled, echoes that died away just as they caught your ear. But if it should really become manifest — if there ever came an echo that did not die away but swelled into the sound itself — you would know it. Beyond all possibility of doubt you would say “Here at last is the thing I was made for”. We cannot tell each other about it. It is the secret signature of each soul, the incommunicable and unappeasable want, the thing we desired before we met our wives or made our friends or chose our work, and which we shall still desire on our deathbeds, when the mind no longer knows wife or friend or work. While we are, this is. If we lose this, we lose all…

All your life an unattainable ecstasy has hovered just beyond the grasp of your consciousness. The day is coming when you will wake to find, beyond all hope, that you have attained it, or else, that it was within your reach and you have lost it forever…”

– C.S. Lewis

This.  Doesn’t this resonate with you too?

Perhaps this “secret signature” is our Lord Himself, His indelible mark (and pull) on our souls, that “God-shaped vacuum” Blaise Pascal spoke of in the human soul, that can be filled with nothing but God.  Or perhaps this signature is the purpose for which He made us, the “place” He is preparing for us in His Father’s house.  That would explain how each of us are chasing something different, sometimes similar, but always as unique as our individual fingerprints.

How amazing to think that God knows this call in our hearts, this longing, and He will fulfill it.  We may not be able to describe it to anyone else fully, but He can answer that call because He formed us this way, and is continuing to form us to follow that subtle strain of music that only we can hear.

 “Your place in heaven will seem to be made for you and you alone, because you were made for it – made for it stitch by stitch as a glove is made for a hand.” ― C.S. Lewis

We all want to belong.  Is there any person who has not, at some time, felt out of place, or wished they fit in better?  God designed us to fit.  His creation was a beautiful image, a reflection of His glory, and when mankind fell into sin it was as if we all fell apart into a billion jigsaw pieces.  Now we float around, painfully aware that we have knobs on some sides, and holes on others, and we just aren’t sure if we will ever find where those knobs are supposed to go, or anything to fill those holes.  Turn us over and you will see little flecks of the big picture, but you may not know where it fits.  In eternity God will put us all back into place, filling our gaps, giving us purpose, showing us how we fit to display the perfect picture He made.  Even now He is doing that, in His church!  Also, once in a great while, he brings together two pieces who discover that, inexplicably, they fit right together.  And those are what we call kindred spirits.

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When do you hear that “call” loudest?  When do you feel, somehow, that, “I was made for this?”

Picture of C.S. Lewis taken from NNDB.com.
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5 Comments

  1. Lewis’ passage reminds me of why I wanted to marry my husband. <3

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  2. Love this! It is so beautiful! I think that in the ultimate way, it is God who will fulfill us, but God is so big that He gives us little things to that make us who we are. I’d say mine is friendship in beyond all bonds sorta way…which is hard to put into words…but it’s what I see linking the books, movies, and histories I love. 🙂

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    • I agree! Ultimately He will fulfill us, but I think maybe He fulfills each of us in a different way, the way we humans have different relationships with the people in our lives. (I don’t interact with my son the same way as my daughter, and neither of those ways is the way I interact with my husband, but all those relationships can be full and complete in their own way!) But who knows. I guess we will see in heaven! 🙂

      I can’t exactly put mine into words. It’s a kind of fierceness? Devotion? Putting your whole self in, being in completely? I can’t describe it.

      Reply
      • Oh yes! I like the idea of the different relationships! 🙂

        It is hard to put into words and God being God, it’s often multifaceted! Like it’s not one thing, but a unique combination of things. 🙂

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