Thursday, July 09, 2009
C. S. Lewis: A Grief Observed
C. S. Lewis penned these words during a time of deep grief after the death of his beloved wife. They help me, in my confusion, to see purpose in my suffering and grief. When someone you love is taken young and suddenly, there is no easy way to understand. You are left to piece it together the best you can and try to find meaning in the loss. I have asked "Why?" a thousand times. Maybe this is part of the answer. Perhaps it is about fixing broken places in me. I hope it works, because Joey's death has left me more broken than I have ever been.
"The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness. A cruel man night be bribed-might grow tired of this vile sport-might have a temporary fit of mercy, as alcoholics have fits of sobriety. But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. But is it credible that such extremities of torture should be necessary for us? Well, take your choice. The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For no even moderately good Being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren't. Either way, we're for it. What do people mean when they say, "I am not afraid of God because I know He is good"? Have they never even been to a dentist?"