A Sword in God’s Hand

July 16

Lewis, grieving the death of his wife, Joy:

Praise is the mode of love which always has some element of joy in it. Praise in due order; of Him as the giver, of her as the gift. Don’t we in praise somehow enjoy what we praise, however far we are from it? I must do more of this. I have lost the fruition I once had of H. And I am far, far away in the valley of my unlikeness, from the fruition which, if His mercies are infinite, I may some time have of God. But by praising I can still, in some degree, enjoy her, and already, in some degree, enjoy Him. Better than nothing.

But perhaps I lack the gift. I see I’ve described H. as being like a sword. That’s true as far as it goes. But utterly inadequate by itself, and misleading. I ought to have balanced it. I ought to have said, ‘But also like a garden. Like a nest of gardens, wall within wall, hedge within hedge, more secret, more full of fragrant and fertile life, the further you entered.’

And then, of her, and of every created thing I praise, I should say, ‘In some way, in its unique way, like Him who made it.’

Thus up from the garden to the Gardener, from the sword to the Smith. To the life-giving Life and the Beauty that makes beautiful.

‘She is in God’s hands.’ That gains a new energy when I think of her as a sword. Perhaps the earthy life I shared with her was only part of the tempering. Now perhaps He grasps the hilt; weighs the new weapon; makes lightnings with it in the air. ‘A right Jerusalem blade.’

-from A Grief Observed

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