C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed and my grief.
This is my second post on C. S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed, the story of his loss of his beloved wife, Joy. Their relationship is portrayed in the movie, Shadowlands.
In my first post, I compared Lewis’ loss with the accounts of a pair of literary writers, Joyce Carol Oates and Joan Didion. In this post I compare Lewis’ loss with my own recent loss of my wife of forty years, E. This post feels different; my loss is still so raw.
Lewis lost his faith—for a little while. I have less faith to lose.
Actually, it’s not quite true to say Lewis lost his faith in God. He lost his faith in a benevolent God, imaging that God inflicts pain because he can.
Someone said, I believe, ‘God always geometrizes.’ Supposing the truth were ‘God always vivisects’? (p 41)
What reason, he asks, can we have, except our own desperate wishes, to believe that God is good? Doesn’t all the evidence suggest the opposite? What have we to set against it? We set Christ against it. But what if Christ were mistaken? “Almost His last words may have a perfectly clear meaning.” (p 42)