Friday, June 8, 2007

C.S. Lewis

I have just finished A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis. A book about grief after the death of a loved one, it is in fact, Lewis' journals after his wife of only 3 years passes away from cancer.
An interesting choice in reading material considering my current position of carrying a life within me. But once again, I am blown away by Lewis' ability to describe the indescribable and talk about life in a practical way yet bring it all back to God. In the midst of his sorrow he is honest and real and seeks to understand what death and grief says about God and His character.
I loved this paragraph, among many;
Am I, for instance, just sidling back to God because I know that if there's any road to H., it runs through Him? But then of course I know perfectly well that He can't be used as a road. If you're approaching Him not as the end goal but as a road, not as the end but as a means, you're not really approaching Him at all. That's what was really wrong with all those popular pictures of happy reunions "on the further shore;" not the simple-minded and very earthly images, but the fact that they make an End of what we get only as a by-product of the true End.
How many times do we "sidle back to God" as an effort to attain something besides God Himself?
Or this paragraph on sorrow and grief itself is so beautiful.
I thought I could describe a state; make a map of sorrow. Sorrow, however, turns out to be not a state but a process. It needs not a map but a history, and if I don't stop writing that history at some quite arbitrary point, there's no reason that I should ever stop. There is something new to be chronicled every day. Grief is like a long valley, a winding valley where any bend may reveal a totally new landscape. As I've already noted, not every bend does. Sometimes the surprise is the opposite one; you are presented with exactly the same sort of country you thought you had left behind miles ago. That is when you wonder whether the valley isn't a circular trench. But it isn't. There are partial recurrences, but the sequence doesn't repeat.

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