Friday, July 17, 2015

A Grief Observed - Clive Staples Lewis

"A Grief Observed" - Clive Staples Lewis
Comments by: Christopher Wiles

     I don't like everything he writes, but I do find all his writings challenging. When Bill Wininger let me borrow A Grief Observed written by C.S. Lewis, I was definitely challenged. Lewis lets loose on paper the raw emotion coming from his heart in the days following the loss of his wife.

     Some of the immediate writing is hard, angry, depressed, and questioning of God and His sovereignty. Yet Lewis doesn't reside there forever. Even through this short compilation of writings you see movement toward healing. Here is an excerpt from the heart of Lewis weeks after the tragedy.

     "Something quite unexpected has happened. It came this morning early. For various reasons, not in themselves at all mysterious, my heart was lighter than it had been for many weeks. For one thing, I suppose I am recovering physically from a good deal of mere exhaustion. And I'd had a very tiring but very healthy twelve hours the day before, and a sounder night's sleep; and after ten days of low-hung grey skies and motionless warm dampness, the sun was shining and there was a light breeze. And suddenly at the very moment when, so far, I mourned (my wife) least, I remembered her best. Indeed it was something (almost) better than memory; an instantaneous, unanswerable impression. To say it was like a meeting would be going too far. Yet there was that in it which tempts one to use those words. It was as if the lifting of the sorrow removed a barrier."

     Followers of Christ often walk a tightrope of balance in handling conversation surrounding the physical deaths of family members, friends, and loved ones. Following Solomon's wisdom in Ecclesiastes 3:4, I believe it is good to let people experience weeping and mourning. Yet, due to the experience of others like Lewis and sound Biblical guidance from passages like 1 Thess 4:13, I choose to gently believe and look for hope of the clouds lifting one day.

     Like many of you, my heart is still saddened and heavy at the loss of life here with friend and brother in Christ, Bill Mundy. I've experienced that loss through my own tears and my own struggling questions. Yet, I've reached the place where I can look forward to the hope of one bright shining day of seeing his smile again. I hope you reach that place at some point too.

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance." - Excerpts from Ecclesiastes 3:1-4

"Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope." - 1 Thessalonians 4:13