Leap of Faith

The following quotes are taken from a series of journal entries written by a man who has recently lost his wife (H.) to bone cancer.  They are just a few of the raw, honest reflections on pain and suffering that are to be found in the memoir.  Read the quotes and see what kind of impression of the author forms in your mind.  Would this be someone you'd like to know?  How strong would you say his faith is?  Check out these quotes:

  • Talk to me about the truth of religion and I'll listen gladly.  Talk to me about the duty of religion and I'll listen submissively.  But don't come talking about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don't understand.

  • They tell me H. is happy now, they tell me she is at peace.  What makes them so sure of this?  ..."Because she is in God's hands."  But if so, she was in God's hands all the time, and I have seen what they did to her here.

  • Sooner or later I must face the question in plain language.  What reason have we, except our own desperate wishes, to believe that God is, by any standard we can conceive "good"?  Doesn't all the...evidence suggest exactly the obvious?

  • What chokes every prayer and every hope is the memory of all the prayers H. and I offered and all the false hopes we had...hopes encouraged...by strange remissions, by one temporary recovery that might have ranked as a miracle...Time after time, when He seemed most gracious He was really preparing the next torture.

The author?  C.S. Lewis-the prolific Christian author known for his incisive defenses and explanations of the Christian faith and for his fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia.  They are part of a personal diary called A Grief Observed.  Would you have imagined these thoughts to be the work of a Christian artist?  For the record, we get to see some healing take place.  In the end, his faith is changed but not obliterated.

Also for the record, reading these quotes only makes me want to know Lewis more.  His bravery and honesty are to be admired.  He does not flinch in examining the problem of pain.

Neither does the writer Paul.  It is hard to read Romans 7 and 8 while wearing rose-colored glasses.  Today we're going to read a reflection that Paul has on suffering.  But it also leads us to another one of the passages that I'm referring to as "security blankets," because they give us hope even in the most difficult of situations.  These passages remind us of our theme.  They encourage us with the knowledge that "His divine power has given us everything we need" (2 Peter 1:3).