I recently finished C.S. Lewis’ brief work, “A Grief Observed.” Lewis originally published the book anonymously; it describes his heartache and confusion after the death of his wife, whom he had been married to for only 3 years. Like in so many of his writings, Lewis is able to articulate the feelings that many of us have had and his insights are lucidly expressed. Below are three passages that bring up perhaps some of the most important concepts about illness and spirituality. 1. Anger at God “Not that I am (I think) in much danger of ceasing to believe in God. The real danger is of coming to believe such dreadful things about Him.” – C.S. Lewis. A Grief Observed, pg 6
In his spiritual and ethnographic account of being a missionary to African Masai tribes in the 1960’s, Vincent Donovan writes of a surprising encounter with a Masai leader (Christianity Rediscovered, ch 4). Vincent begins his outreach to the Masai quite sincerely, by bringing up various spiritual themes and asking the people their opinion. During his first week with the Masai, he asks what they think about God (God was not a foreign concept to the Masai, they already believed in a supreme deity). “If I ever run into God, I will put a spear through him,” says one elder. As different as the Masai are from Westerners today, this sentiment toward God is surprisingly similar to our own reaction toward God when faced with mounting suffering.