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Shadowlands And CS Lewis

Many will have seen the desperately poignant movie. It tells the story of the late flowering love between CS Lewis and an American divorcee called Joy Gresham. Lewis is most famous for his Narnia stories, but also wrote a lot (in very approachable language) from a Christian perspective about insoluble questions like why does God allow suffering. Here was famous man who, almost certainly because of the death of his mother from cancer when he was a child, shut himself away from the possibility of ever having a deep relationship, because of his dread of the suffering it might entail. Joy came into his life, broke down his barriers, but then died of cancer, after a short period of remission, leaving him bereft all over again. She even had a son, aged about the same as Lewis had been when his mother had died. Lewis had originally married her in order to enable her to obtain British citizenship, supposedly out of friendship, but he was almost certainly under her spell by then. They were later married again, by a clergyman.

The movie is full of beautiful moments and quotes. Jack is what CSL was always known as.

Jack: Why love, if losing hurts so much? I have no answers anymore: only the life I have lived. Twice in that life I've been given the choice: as a boy and as a man. The boy chose safety, the man chooses suffering. The pain now is part of the happiness then. That's the deal.

Joy: Jack, don't you sometimes just bust to share the joke? Here's your friends thinking we're unmarried and up to all sorts of wickedness, when all along we're married and up to nothing at all.

Harry: Christopher can scoff, Jack, but I know how hard you've been praying; and now God is answering your prayers.
C. S. Lewis: That's not why I pray, Harry. I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God, it changes me.

 The movie uses quotes from Lewis's broadcasts and writings. Other examples (not in the movie) include:-

"This year, or this month, or, more likely, this very day, we have failed to practise ourselves the kind of behavior we expect from other people."

"Reality, in fact, is always something you couldn't have guessed. That's one of the reasons I believe Christianity. It's a religion you couldn't have guessed."

"Badness is only spoiled goodness."

"Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal."

"Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment."

"We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it's there for emergencies but he hopes he'll never have to use it."

"[God] is not proud...He will have us even though we have shown that we prefer everything else to Him."

"God will look to every soul like its first love because He is its first love."

"Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it."

"If you are really a product of a materialistic universe, how is it that you don't feel at home there?"

"If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will...then we may take it it is worth paying."

"The human mind has no more power of inventing a new value than of planting a new sun in the sky or a new primary colour in the spectrum..."

"Atheism turns out to be too simple. If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning..."

"Where, except in the present, can the Eternal be met?"

The list goes on and on! Those are just a very few, and not necessarily the best, examples.

unsichtbar unsichtbar 46-50 Oct 14, 2009

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