I was hoping for lots of reading time with the coming of the holiday season, but reality hit instead. I moved forward in a couple of books, but I only finished one book completely: C. S. Lewis’ A Grief Observed.
Wow. What to say? My heart ached as I read of the pain and anger and sadness that Lewis experienced after the death of his wife. But empathetically reading about someone else’s sorrow isn’t the same thing as living it. While I didn’t completely understand his pain, I appreciated Lewis’ descriptions, word pictures, and his raw honesty through it all. I’ll keep this one tucked away on my bookshelf for the time when my own grief will be observed. My biggest take-away from this read: I will not be immune to death’s touch forever. Life is a mist.
Some of my favorite quotes from the last two months…
You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn’t you then first discover how much you really trusted it? …. Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief. ¹
… there is nothing we can do with suffering except to suffer it…. It doesn’t really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist’s chair or let your hands lie in your lap. The drill drills on. ¹
You can’t see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears. ¹
God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn’t. ¹
… bereavement is not the truncation of married love but one of its regular phases–like the honeymoon. What we want is to live our marriage well and faithfully through that phase too… ¹
Not my idea of God, but God. Not my idea of H., but H. Yes, and also not my idea of my neighbor, but my neighbor. For don’t we often make this mistake as regards people who are still alive–who are with us in the same room? Talking and acting not to the man himself but to the picture–almost the précis–we’ve made of Him in our own minds? ¹
Lord, thy servant is a poor man; but he has trusted in thee, and made his boast in thee, before the sons of men; therefore let him not be confounded! Let it not be said all this was enthusiasm, and therefore it is come to naught! ²
Our hour of trial continues still. The Lord mercifully has given enough to supply our daily necessities; but he gives by the day now, and almost by the hour, as we need it… I have besought the Lord again and again, both yesterday and today. It is as if the Lord said: “Mine hour is not yet come.” But I have faith in God. I believe that he surely will send help, though I know not whence it is to come. ²
This way of living brings the Lord remarkably near. He is, as it were, morning by morning inspecting our stores, that accordingly he may send help. ²
The words in the prayer of Jehoshaphat, “Neither know we what to do, but our eyes are upon thee,” are at this moment the language of my heart. I likewise know not what to do, but my eyes are upon the Lord, and I am sure that he will help this day also. ²
I labor because I am the Lord’s, bought by his precious blood, and he commands me to labor. ²
But he grimaced and blurted out, “Why on earth would you want to go there? Those Jews never did nothing good, except give us Jesus.” Wouldn’t that be enough? ³
Ironically, as our world has become more sensitive to embracing ethnic differences, some have done exactly the opposite with Jesus. ³
Just as rain water comes down in drops and forms rivers, so with the Scriptures: one studies a bit today and some more tomorrow, until in time the understanding becomes like a flowing stream. – Song of Songs Midrash Rabbah 2:8 ³
¹C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
²George Müller, The Autobiography of George Müller
³Lois Tverberg, Walking in the Dust of Rabbi Jesus
2 thoughts on “Ang’s Nov/Dec ’17 Reads and QOTM’s”
Thank you for sharing. Your words are always a comfort.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Happy New Year to you as well! I’m hoping to be even more intentional about reading in 2018. Others’ writings do so much to comfort and encourage me as well! Thanks for your comments, your encouragement, your prayers, and your support, Patricia!