Mere Mortals?

Posted: September 4, 2008 in Peace

I know what most people think about lawyers. Funny, but I almost feel like those claiming Christian status are especially prejudicial.

And I know what people expect of law professors. Maybe worse than what people think about lawyers.

Dean Tim Perrin blows all those preconceived notions out of the water. He is quite possibly the nicest man on the planet. That his field of expertise is litigation makes the juxtaposition even more sweet.

Pepperdine’s chapter of the Christian Legal Society meets at the Perrins’ home on Wednesday nights for a Bible study. A week ago, a record 70 of us crammed into their home. Last night, the number was a bit lower, but not by much.

Dean Perrin spoke last night, and he spoke my language. About how people are the most important thing on the planet. All people. Not just the ones like you. (Editorial insert: even lawyers, I’d like to add.) (Editorial insert #2: even people of different political persuasions, I’d like to add, too.)

Anyway, he opened and closed last night with a quote from C.S. Lewis that I thought I’d share this morning. Not a bad way to start the day.

There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously–no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat, the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.

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