Recently, a friend lent me his copy of C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. Let’s be honest, the only Lewis I had read (and understood) to this point were his children’s books. Needless to say, I was intimidated. Yet, because of the one who offered and the conversation it came out of, I picked it up.
In its pages I met myself in ways I had not put words to. I saw the person I want to be.
This particular book is an allegory in which ghosts from near-hell make an excursion to near-heaven. Most of them cannot handle the intensity of the experience and flee to comfort. One, however, stays with the pain and glory of the journey. He witnesses encounters between ghost-humans and celestial-humans who knew each other during their earth life. The former, I find myself frightfully acquainted to, the latter embody an essence longed for.
The final scene is as a crescendo of the soul. Other-centered Love meets the ghostly grime of one hiding in and infatuated with Self. One entering realms of glory, the other diminishing…in…to…nothingness.
A few things linger after this read: the most prominent is my utter identification with living the ghost-life, avoiding pain at all cost AND a receiving of an immensity of grace to enter more fully into who I am becoming.
I wonder what will linger for you.
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(or, of course) your local library or used book store (always a treasure trove!)