"Fame in that country. . . . fame on earth."


"We raise our kids, go to church, serve on the worship team, practice hospitality, pray in secret. Nobody sees these things. We live in the mundane moments. We simply do what we’re commanded, without fuss or pomp or likes."

Yesterday, Tim Duncan retired.  If you're not a sports fan, you just need to know that he was one of most boring basketball players of all time.  He had almost the same statistics every night.  He was consistently excellent, and he didn't really have any fanfare.  

Stephen Altrogge asks the question in his piece on Tim Duncan:  "If we do a good deed and don’t get any likes, did that good deed even happen? If I share the gospel and don’t show the video on Facebook, does it even matter?"   

Stephen quotes C.S. Lewis from "The Great Divorce" and I"ll copy it here.  This scene seems to be a vision of someone who was common on earth, but great in Heaven.   Let us long for fame "in that country" and view our small kingdoms here as. . . . . small.   Here is the whole piece from Stephen Altrogge, it is worth your time.  


"First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers. Then, on the left and right,at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done.

I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed. If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass. If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes. For clothes in that country are not a disguise: the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs. A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer’s features as a lip or an eye.

But I have forgotten. And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.

“Is it?…is it?” I whispered to my guide.

“Not at all,” said he. “It’s someone ye’ll never have heard of. Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”

“She seems to be…well, a person of particular importance?”

“Aye. She is one of the great ones. Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”