Daily Word of Grace # 200 (December 21, 2020)
One of the lesser known works of H. G. Wells (1866-1946) “the father of science fiction” is his 1910 novel The Sleeper Wakes. In this novel a Londoner named Graham sleeps for two centuries, and awakens in transformed London. Graham has inherited a vast fortune from a trust that had been accruing value all that time, as well as vast power as he, the famous Sleeper, who had finally awakened. And yet, Graham remains as disillusioned as he had ever been, as Wells wrote: “To what end had he awakened, what was there for him to do? Humanity was spread below him like a map. He thought of the millions and millions of humanity following each other unceasingly for ever out of the darkness of non-existence into the darkness of death. To what end? Aim there must be, but it transcended his power of thought. He saw for the first time clearly his own infinite littleness, saw stark and terrible the tragic contrast of human strength and the craving of the human heart…And suddenly his littleness was intolerable, and there came to him an irresistible impulse to pray. And he prayed.” That is the exact place where the good news of the gospel meets us, for in Jesus Christ humanity is brought from darkness to light. God’s love in Jesus Christ transcends both our “infinite littleness” and “the tragic contrast of human strength and the craving of the human heart” and awakens the Sleeper within each of us to the reality of that love.
Love and Prayers,