Friday, 2 September 2011

My grief observed

Just over 50 years ago C S Lewis wrote the little masterpiece A grief observed in which he grappled with his own emotions and faith in reaction to the loss of his wife Joy Gresham. He fiercely expresses his doubts about God,  and it does contain unsettling language for a Christian believer. But doubts expressed are not resented by God but neither are they left to dominate us.

In a small aside from a recent sermon on Genesis 15 by Tim Keller preaching about God's promise to Abraham to provide him with multiple progeny, Tim says,
'Churches in which it's unsafe to doubt create skeptics...because if you're unable to be open about your doubts you get no answers. On the other hand living in New York city, secular sophisticated culture assumes that anybody who has any kind of certainties about faith at all is a naive rube. Its considered to be sophisticated to be doubtful any everything, who knows anything. So you have modern culture which makes doubt a virtue and some church cultures which make doubt a no-no and then you have.......God and the Bible...gentle with those who doubt, but never accepting that that's a place that you can live forever'

Mum at her Easter table just 3 weeks before she died
I mention these things because today is exactly three months since my dear mother passed away. Mum was a Christian believer and was 84 years of age, and died lovingly cared for in a hospice, so in many ways I haven't experienced the anger and desperation of Lewis, but rather uncalled for sudden moments of sadness and of  emptiness and of a wishing mum was there to tell some fairly ordinary piece of information to. I reflect upon her committed love for her family and so many others and of course I wish I had done more for her. Helping my sister clear mum's lovely warm home has been one of the saddest activities of my life, but how touched I have been to find evidences of my thoughtfulness everywhere.

O death where is thy sting?

ps I had to look up 'rube' too-a country bumpkin!!

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A message from the other side

No, not that side! But thank God got through surgery ok yesterday. And thanks to all for love support and prayer.