from C.S. Lewis’ The Problem of Pain–chapter 6
“The human spirit will not even begin to surrender self-will as long as all seems to be well with it. Now error and sin both have this property, that the deeper they are, the less their victim suspects their existence; they are masked evil. Pain is unmasked , unmistakable evil, every man knows that something is wrong when he is being hurt…..And the pain is not only recognizable evil, but evil impossible to ignore. We rest contentedly in our sins and stupidities…..and can even ignore our pleasures, but pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.
I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of pain threatens serious disease, or a tragedy that threatens us all with destruction, sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys. Then, slowly and reluctantly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should be in at all times. I remind myself that these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world, and my only real treasure is Christ.
And perhaps by God’s grace, I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependent on God and drawing its strength from the right sources.
But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys; I am even anxious, God forgive me, to banish from my mind the only thing that supported me under the threat because it is now associated with the misery of those few days. Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation is only too clear. God has had me but for forty-eight hours and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me. Let Him but sheathe that sword for a moment and I behave like a puppy when the hated bath is over—I shake myself as dry as I can and race off to reacquire my comfortable dirtiness, if not in the nearest manure heap, at least in the nearest flower bed.
And that is why tribulations cannot cease until God either sees us remade or sees that our remaking is now hopeless. ”
Thank you to my dear friend The Nester who made this video. It’s a perfect recap of 2010 and a most wonderful gift of love to our family.
I wanted *to go back there*—to look at my house, but found it hard to do so.
It’s as if she gently took me by the hand and led me through it so that I didn’t have to make the journey alone.
This is where the healing starts.
Love you all and Happy New Year.