Wow this is remarkable! In “Quiet Love” I quote Pat’s thoughts on our marriage as “sort of communicating bubbles” and how she thought our type of marriage, two touching circles, “is the best”. Reading C. S. Lewis “A Grief Observed” I discover this passage: “Suppose that the earthly lives she and I shared for a few years are in reality only the basis for, or prelude to, or earthly appearance of, two unimaginable, super-cosmic, eternal somethings. Those somethings could be pictured as spheres or globes. Where the plane of Nature cuts through them – that is, in earthly life – they appear as two circles (circles are slices of spheres). Two circles that touched. But those two circles, above all the point at which they touched, are the very thing I am mourning for, homesick for, famished for. You tell me ‘she goes on’. But my heart and body are crying out, come back, come back. Be a circle, touching my circle on the plane of Nature.
I want to assure Lewis, though I expect he already knows, that the one point where those two eternal spheres touch as earthly circles became one in marriage and continue to touch forever. That is why we still feels our spouses’s presence after she is gone. I want to shout out to him, NO all that is not gone; the former things have NOT passed away. Love is stronger than Death. It is not about ‘family reunions on the further shore’. Yes we know it couldn’t be like that. We do see our loved ones again; this sure belief rests on two pillars of Christian belief. One is the blessed hope that we will see Jesus again (Titus 2:13). The other is the assurance that our present bodies will be raised from the dead, immortal (1 Cor. 15:12-57). Together, these pillars provide a basis for believing we will recognize our loved ones in heaven. After all, if we can recognize the Lord Jesus, possessing the perfectly restored and glorified bodies to do so, it follows that we will recognize other believers, including our loved ones.
Pat wrote: “Eric had his own brainstorm recently, also concerned with freedom of the will. His view is that we are like ships on the ocean. We can’t control the external circumstances of our lives – the currents, the storms, the calms and winds. But we can make use of our sails and rudders to control the way we meet these circumstances, and we can plot our course as well as possible.” C. S. Lewis uses the same metaphor of our lives being ships on a sea,. He describes marriage as one ship. “One flesh. Or, if you prefer, one ship. The starboard engine has gone. I, the port engine, must chug along somehow till we make harbour. Or rather, till the journey ends. How can I assume a harbour? A lee shore, more likely, a black night, a deafening gale, breakers ahead – and any lights shown from land probably being waved by wreckers. Such was H’s landfall. Such was my mother’s. I say their landfalls; not their arrivals.”
C. S. Lewis is the most influential apologist for the Anglican church of the twentieth century. It is very comforting to find Pat and I have used the same words and ideas as he. It shows we may just be on the right track in our journey to God and us.