by Steve Laube
C.S. Lewis wrote “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” And later he wrote “Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.” (from The World’s Last Night: And Other Essays).
I just returned from a weekend teaching at the C.S. Lewis Foundation Retreat near Houston. It is a marvelous time of spiritual and intellectual stimulation. To hear presentations by acclaimed Lewis scholars like Joseph Pearce and Diana Glyer is both a delight and a privilege.
This year’s theme was The Great Divorce which is a book by Lewis that you must read if you haven’t already. With all of the recent bestsellers discussing heaven and what it will look like or whether or not it is real, this weekend was quite invigorating. Having lost my dad a couple months ago I was struck by the poignancy of some of the conversations. Consider these quotes from The Great Divorce:
“Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakable remains.”
“That is what mortals misunderstand. They say of some temporal suffering, ‘No future bliss can make up for it’ not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.”
“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.”
“Good beats upon the damned incessantly as sound waves beat on the ears of the deaf, but they cannot receive it. Their fists are clenched, their teeth are clenched, their eyes fast shut. First they will not, in the end they cannot, open their hands for gifts, or their mouth for food, or their eyes to see.”
On Saturday there was an evening of wonderful music and also a presentation of worship thru dance performed by the Ad Deum Dance Company.
Even though I went as faculty I came away blessed by the people there and am refreshed and ready to face the week of exploring new ideas and new writers. Consider taking advantage of one or more of the events put on by the C.S. Lewis Foundation throughout the year. (Click here for an overview.)