Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Severe Mercy

I finished reading A Severe Mercy over Thanksgiving. It's one of those books I had heard about for a while but never got around to reading. I'm very glad I finally did. It was easily the best book I've read this year.

The author, Sheldon Vanauken, tells the story of how he falls in love with his wife Davy, how they both befriend C.S. Lewis and come to faith in Oxford, and how Sheldon deals with the death of Davy. It is very well-written and hard to not become drawn in.

It's hard to imagine a husband and wife loving each other more than what's described in this book. And to see how Sheldon ends up calling his wife's death a severe mercy is pretty amazing.
"If my reasoning - my judgment - is correct, then her death in the dearness of our love had these results: It brought me as nothing else could do to know and end my jealousy of God. It saved her faith from assault. It brought me, if Lewis is right, her far greater help from eternity. And it saved our love from perishing in one of the other ways that love could perish. Would I not rather our love go through death than hate?

If her death did, in truth, have these results, it was, precisely, a severe mercy."

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