Thursday, April 8, 2010

Calling C.S. Lewis

I profess faith in God and in his son, Jesus. This defines many of the boundaries and templates of my life and my perspective. Having just celebrated Easter--the Super Bowl of Christian tradition some might say--it is especially troubling to me that I am having such a difficult time witnessing the end of my friend's life after a long battle with cancer.

It's difficult for me to even articulate my difficulty.

I don't think it's anger about the injustice of her struggles with a buffet of chemotherapies.
I don't think it's frustration about the cycle of hope and despair I've seen her go through.
I don't think it's sorrow for the days she will not have ahead.

Although all of these things are catalogued in my emotions, these are not the root causes of my own pathos.

I think it's fear.

And, if I am fearful about my friend's transition from this side of eternity to the other side, what does that imply about my own inevitable transition?

C.S. Lewis said, "Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret?  There are better things ahead than any we leave behind."

The first time I read those words I believed them, I think.

But, these past two days give me pause.

One good quote deserves another, so here's another:  

I would rather be ashes than dust!  I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than should be stifled by dry-rot.  I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow than a sleepy and permanent planet.  The proper function of man is to live, not to exist.  I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them.  I shall use my time.  (Jack London)


I am all for living and not simply prolonging. But, I wonder why I am seemingly unconvinced about the better things ahead just now.

I'm calling C.S. Lewis.  I'm using a spiritual shout-out on Christianity Cash-Cab.  I don't know the answer and time is running out.


Unknown said...

Here's my best answer: Life sucks. Sorry for the "vulgar language", but it's appropriate. The more I learn about life, the more I realize that God doesn't keep us neat and tidy. I don't have a nice Christian phrase that makes everything better (which so many of us often do), I don't have a pat on the spiritual back with a promise of help from the Holy Spirit. The more I grow with Christ, the more I move away from what I like to call "Happy Bumper Sticker Christianity". I'm moving towards realizing the despair that Solomon felt in writing Eccelesiastes, and not skipping the horrible parts of Job just to get to the happy ending. There is only one hope in all of our "vapor" life: Christ. The very fact that Jesus is a ruling King in heaven, looking every bit the part might I add, should give us every confidence in our eternal home. All the hurt and suffering we see is remedied by knowing that we're allowed to feel horror, sadness, confusion and doubt. Let's not forget that Jesus Himself felt these things.

Jill Harris said...

It's true, Leigh. You are--always have been and will remain--wise beyond your years. Thank you for reading me. I enjoy reading you, too.

Freedom's Voice said...

I like what Leigh said, life sucks. The best part about it is that God knows life sucks and gave us Jesus, who is always the one left standing when everything else crashes away. He lived the human life with all its joy, pain and horrors, and He is with us when we suffer loss. He wept at Lazarus' grave, he weeps with you at the loss of your dear friend. The good news is that we know the end of the story, that we will all be together again one day in His new kingdom. It is times like these when we are called to move from simply believing to knowing. I hope this helps. You are in my prayers. I saw your blog post and couldn't help but comment.