A Grief Observed (Hardcover)
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Written with love, humility, and faith, this brief but poignant volume was first published in 1961 and concerns the death of C. S. Lewis's wife, the American-born poet Joy Davidman. In her introduction to this new edition, Madeleine L'Engle writes: "I am grateful to Lewis for having the courage to yell, to doubt, to kick at God in angry violence. This is a part of a healthy grief which is not often encouraged. It is helpful indeed that C. S. Lewis, who has been such a successful apologist for Christianity, should have the courage to admit doubt about what he has so superbly proclaimed. It gives us permission to admit our own doubts, our own angers and anguishes, and to know that they are part of the soul's growth."
Written in longhand in notebooks that Lewis found in his home, A Grief Observed probes the "mad midnight moments" of Lewis's mourning and loss, moments in which he questioned what he had previously believed about life and death, marriage, and even God. Indecision and self-pity assailed Lewis. "We are under the harrow and can't escape," he writes. "I know that the thing I want is exactly the thing I can never get. The old life, the jokes, the drinks, the arguments, the lovemaking, the tiny, heartbreaking commonplace." Writing A Grief Observed as "a defense against total collapse, a safety valve," he came to recognize that "bereavement is a universal and integral part of our experience of love."
Lewis writes his statement of faith with precision, humor, and grace. Yet neither is Lewis reluctant to confess his continuing doubts and his awareness of his own human frailty. This is precisely the quality which suggests that A Grief Observed may become "among the great devotional books of our age."
About the Author
(1898-1963) He held the chair of Medieval and Renaissance English Literature at Cambridge University in England. Among his many famous works areMere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, the Chronicles of Narnia series, Miracles, The Abolition of Man, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, and Surprised by Joy
People have come to expect sound advice from Johann Christoph Arnold, an award-winning author with over a million copies of his books in print in more than 20 languages. A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, and end-of-life issues, Arnold is a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. With his wife, Verena, he has counseled thousands of individuals and families over the last forty years. His books include Why Forgive?, Rich in Years, Seeking Peace, Cries from the Heart, Be Not Afraid, and Why Children Matter. Arnold's message has been shaped by encounters with great peacemakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Cesar Chavez, and John Paul II. Together with paralyzed police officer Steven McDonald, Arnold started the Breaking the Cycle program, working with students at hundreds of public high schools to promote reconciliation through forgiveness. This work has also brought him to conflict zones from Northern Ireland to Rwanda to the Middle East. Closer to home, he serves as chaplain for the local sheriff's department. Born in Britain in 1940 to German refugees, Arnold spent his boyhood years in South America, where his parents found asylum during the war; he immigrated to the United States in 1955. He and his wife have eight children, 42 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. They live in upstate New York. To learn more visit www.richinyears.com