Sunday, October 23, 2005

a grief observed

I have just finished reading 'The Grief Observed' by CS Lewis. For most people they would assume that I would be giving praises again to my favorite author.


What I want to share this time is the reason why I liked him (Lewis) so much.

I do not know him personally (sayang!, kasi kahit buhay siya di ko naman siya makikilala) but what I liked about him through grief observe is that there isn't the slightest hint of fakery in him.

When you read his words, as though you are reading his heart.

This is most true in this book.

I have read in the introduction that these "jottings" were made in Lewis's private journals after the death of his wife, Joy, who suffered from cancer. They weren't intended for publication when written, but Jack (Lewis) later decided that they might help someone else who might be going through a similar experience as he.

What I saw in the novel was Lewis is like Jacob, wrestling with God.

It is not always an agreeable sight to behold, and yet we cannot take our eyes

off it.

He bites, scratches and yells at God (at the top of his lungs) then falls back in a draggin mass of quivering flesh.

But like Jacob Lewis will not turn loose until God blesses him. And ultimately God does bless him - and us through him.

There are too many profound passages to quote (as always).

And personally I don't really want to quote everything.

It would be like uncovering a secret. A mighty secret.

Lewis honesty sometimes borders on discomfort.

The first sentence of the book amazes me for I have felt exactly the same though in a different circumstance. "No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."

Lewis describes his mourning in terms so eloquent, and yet, when I read them, so real.

In speaking about the memory of his wife showing up at particular times and in particular places, He would say no. "Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything."

He speaks of how her face is becoming blurred in his memory, while her voice is still vivid.
"The remembered voice - that can turn me at any moment to a whimpering child."

Lewis eventually finds his way through the terrifying maze of grief and finds that the God he was wrestling with was holding him in His arms all the time. "God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't."

The thing that was impressed to me is that our concept of how things "should to be" are illusions of the truth that really is.

God, through the natural process of death and grieving shatters our illusions and causes us to come face to face with truth.

This is often extraordinarily painful. Says Lewis, "My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of His presence?"

I liked the book.

Thank you Chuck.

Grace Bible Church