All Good Masters Are Servants

The question we want to ask about Man’s ‘central’ position in this drama is really on a level with the disciples’ question ‘Which of them was the greatest?’ It is the sort of question which God does not answer. If from Man’s point of view the re-creation of non-human and even inanimate Nature appears a mere by-product of his own redemption, then equally from some remote, non-human point of view Man’s redemption may seem merely the preliminary to this more widely diffused springtime, and the very permission of Man’s fall may be supposed to have had that larger end in view. Both attitudes will be right if they will consent to drop the words mere and merely. Where a God who is totally purposive and totally foreseeing acts upon a Nature which is totally interlocked, there can be no accidents or loose ends, nothing whatever of which we can safely use the word merely. Nothing is ‘merely a by-product’ of anything else. All results are intended from the first. What is subservient from one point of view is the main purpose from another. No thing or event is the first of highest in a sense which forbids it to be also last and lowest. The partner who bows to Man in one movement of the dance receives Man’s reverences in another. To be high or central means to abdicate continually; to be low means to be raised: all good masters are servants: God washes the feet of men.

~C.S. Lewis (Miracles)

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