Sunday, January 23, 2005

Sarah Smith who lived at Golders Green

All down one long aisle of the forest the undersides of the leafy branches had begun to tremble with dancing light; and on Earth I knew nothing so likely to produce this appearance as the reflected lights cast upward by moving water. A few moments later I realized my mistake. Some kind of procession was approaching us, and the light came from the persons who composed it.

[...]Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand, and girls upon the other. If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old. Between them went musicians: and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done.

[...]'and who are all these young men and women on each side?'

'They are her sons and daughters.'

'She must have had a very large family, Sir.'

'Every young man or boy that met her became her son--even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door. Every girl that met her was her daughter.'

'Isn't that a bit hard on their own parents?'

'No. There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more. [...]'

'And how...but hullo! What are all these animals? A cat--two cats--dozens of cats. And all these dogs...why, I can't count them. And the birds. And the horses.'

'They are her beasts.'

'Did she keep a sort of zoo? I mean, this is a bit too much. '

'Every beast and bird that came near her had its place in her love. In her they became themselves. And now the abundance of life she has in Christ from the Father flows over into them.'

I looked at my Teacher in amazement.

'Yes,' he said. 'It is like when you throw a stone into a pool, and the concentric waves spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end? Redeemed humanity is still young, it has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough in the little finger of a great saint such as yonder lady to waken all the dead things of the universe into life.'
~C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce, Chapter 12 (1946)


On this day:

1926 Lewis gives his first lecture as a don in the English School at Oxford, entitled "Some Eighteenth-Century Precursors of the Romantic Movement."

2 Comment(s):

At Sun Jan 23, 08:14:00 PM EST, Blogger Arevanye said...

Two of my friends recently lost their dear pets. It comforts me to think that Lewis had confidence that the pets we love on earth will have a place with us in Heaven.

At Wed Dec 15, 12:01:00 PM EST, Blogger Laurie said...

re: Arevanye
I don't think that animals being in heaven is the point of this part of the book. Although it is possible, the Bible does talk about lions and lambs in heaven, but we must remember that in the forward to this book, Lewis himself states very clearly that he's not trying to make a statement about what heaven is like, but rather what we as people are like making choices in life either for God or for ourselves. Lewis used Sarah Smith as a foil, to show a woman who found complete and utter joy in Christ so much that it overflowed from everything she did. The animals are just a vehicle to show her vast amount of compassion.
But yes, we do have a comfort to look forward to of animals in heaven :)


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