“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” Jonah 2:8
I’m in a book group and just finished the October book “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. The book was a fast read, but quite deep, and challenged me at several levels. In his book Lewis is exploring the concept of heaven and hell. There are so many great thoughts and quotes in this book, but I found myself most challenged by Lewis’ vignette of a mother whose son died before she died. She stands in a sort of netherworld where the opportunity to love God and enter heaven is right in front of her. But all she wants is to see the son she lost and loves deeply. She is told that in order to perceive her son she must first learn to ‘want Someone Else besides’ her son. She reluctantly agrees to do whatever is needed and the sooner the better so that she can see her boy as soon as possible. Her guide tells her “Don’t you see you are not beginning at all as long as you are in that state of mind? You’re treating God only as a means to Michael.” A bit later in the exchange he reminds her that “You exist as Michael’s mother only because you first exist as God’s creature.” The woman argues with her guide maintaining that Mother-love is the highest and holiest feeling in human nature. Her guide wisely answers back “. . . no natural feelings are high or low, holy or unholy, in themselves. They are all holy when God’s hand is on the rein. They all go bad when they set up on their own and make themselves into false gods.”
I am so much more drawn to heaven now than I was before Becky got to go ahead of me. In some ways this is good and right, but I want to beware of making seeing Becky again into my primary motivation for longing for heaven. I have this dread of waving a quick ‘hello’ to Jesus and then running on by to find Becky. I know that all the love of my life is but a drop in the ocean of God’s love. I know that all of that love is also somehow sourced out of my love for God. If I focus on the lesser loves – even when they are as great as my love for Steve, or my girls, or the families they have birthed – those loves will turn to bitter dust in my urgency to hold on to them and make them serve my desire. When I hold these loves as a portion of the love of God in my life and when I serve them in the way of His selfless serving love, then those loves become holy and blessed and a part of the glorious love of God. When I first love God all my love becomes immeasurably more than I could even ask or imagine.
“O the deep, deep love of Jesus
Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free
Rolling as a mighty ocean, in its fullness over me
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward, to Thy glorious rest above”
-by Samuel Trevor Francis
We are just a few short weeks from the 1 year anniv. Of our son, David, leaving us so suddenly in such a tragic way. My priorities have changed. My life & who I am, are so different now. I miss him beyond words! You help me so much. Thank you!
Shannon – I can relate to your feelings so well. I could’ve never guessed at the impact losing our daughter would make in our lives. We’re about in the same place in our journey. We just keep on moving forward and trusting God for the energy to do so.
WOW! Thank you again Claudia. Trudy