This is from C.S. Lewis’ A Pilgrim’s Regress. I just thought it was so good a passage of literature, and so illustrative of the way I think about sin and perfection, I had to post it.
“It is like a thorn in your finger, sir. You know when you set about taking it out yourself – you mean to get it out – you know it will hurt – and it does hurt – but somehow it is not very serious business – well, I suppose, because you feel that you always could stop if it was very bad. Not that you intend to stop. But it is a very different thing to hold your hand out to a surgeon to be hurt as much as he thinks fit. And at his speed.’
The Man laughed. ‘I see you understand me very well,’ He said, ‘but the great thing is to get the thorn out.”