Friday, September 9, 2016

Yours, Jack

Matthew 5:43-45
"You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous."

Dear C. S., (Or would you prefer "Jack" as your friends call you.)

I've read and admired your writing these many years.  Your convincing and compelling words have been instrumental in bringing me closer in my walk with God, and I am especially fond of The Chronicles of Narnia.  You have been my constant inspiration.  But then, again, you already know that.  You've, no doubt, seen your influence flush and present in my writing of The Glade Series and Adventures in The Glade. 

I am writing to you because I'm facing a dilemma in my Christian walk, one which I think you would completely understand, and be able to advise me as to how to move forward.  I don't wish to stay put.

So, here's my question:  When I know Jesus wants me to love my enemy, and the enemy professes to be a Christian, yet has betrayed me, how am I to progress?  I'm so confused and bruised in my heart and soul.  Can you help?  How I wish I could sit with you at a warm fireside and hear your voice in person!

With love and gratitude,

Martha Jane

~

Dear Martha Jane,

When you arrive here in heaven one day, I guarantee that there is already waiting a comfortable armchair in my parlor that will welcome your company.  There is more comfort here than one could, on earth, ever imagine; yet here, in the comfort, nothing grows stale, nor old, nor useless.  To the contrary, every moment is the most vibrant one you might only have had a glimpse of on your side. 

As to your question, my dear, the Lord bids me send you this passage from Mere Christianity:

We may punish if necessary, but we must not enjoy it.  In other words, something inside us, the feeling of resentment, the feeling that wants to get one's own back, must simply be killed.  I do not mean that anyone can decide this moment that he will never feel it any more.  That is not how things happen.  I mean that every time it bobs its head up, day after day, year after year, all our lives long, we must hit it on the head.  It is hard work, but the attempt is not impossible.  Even while we kill and punish we must try to feel about the enemy as we feel about ourselves - to wish that he were not bad, to hope that he may, in this world or another, be cured; in fact, to wish his good.  That is what is meant in the Bible by loving him; wishing his good, not feeling fond of him nor saying he is nice when he is not.

Martha Jane, I do hope these words help you find the answer to the question.  I am by no means the be all and end all - that's God's place.  Don't forget that, my dear, don't forget.  We are only the vessels, the clay in His hands.  Live out your life according to God's will and purpose.

May God bless you!

Yours, Jack

P. S. I do enjoy your books and love that Davy finds the answers in his own backyard.  No wardrobe here, as your friend, Glynn, observed, but the message is the same.  God sees to that.  He sees to everything.

~

Have you ever contemplated writing a letter to a most admired author?

Prayer:  Father, our lives are so beholding to those who have gone before us and paved the way to helping us know You more intimately.  We give thanks now for all those persons, past and present, who are not afraid to speak Your truths and walk in Your ways.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

23 comments:

  1. Amen and Amen. Giving honor where honor is due! I really enjoyed reading this, Martha. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Shira!
      Love and blessings!

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  2. Amen and Amen. Giving honor where honor is due! I really enjoyed reading this, Martha. Thanks.

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  3. Martha, I like how you approached this post Martha, very creative. While I've not written an author, I did track down a person (just a tad older than me) who had a book written about a huge experience she had when she was in elementary school. God was ever present in that story.

    Love and blessings!

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    1. That's a neat story, Kim. And thanks so much for your kind words!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I just love this post. I think you could write a whole book like this. I am partial to Lewis anyway and you brought him to life with his answer. WOW. This has been my favorite posts this week. Thanks!

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    1. And your complimentary words just blow me away, Jean! And what a great idea to write a book just using letters, almost like a journal. C. S. Lewis has been my favorite author forever, too. I really do want to meet him one day.
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Interesting concept Martha. I'm not sure who i would write to. Guess I'm going to have to think on that. :)

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    1. Let me know if you come up with anyone, Bill. I've just admired C. S. Lewis ever since I was a young girl.
      Love and blessings!

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  6. Hi Martha! I so admire your creativity in crafting this letter to CS Lewis. Great question, and great answer too. I can't say that I have ever thought about writing one myself, but I sure do appreciate reading yours!
    May God help us all to let go of resentment...
    Blessings,
    Ceil

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this, Ceil, and that you are back in the blogosphere! You've been missed, my friend.
      Love and blessings!

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  7. This is a great idea Martha and glad you went for it, for I do believe all who read your post like the question and the answer. Thanks.

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    1. It was certainly a departure for me, Betty, but was certainly a joy to write. Glad you enjoyed the post!
      Love and blessings!

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  8. How wonderful. I have not written to an author, but I do sometimes write my prayers, and then, after a time of meditation, I use my left (nondominant) hand to write the answer. I have gotten some surprising responses that way!

    I love the Chronicles of Narnia. I read the entire series, one chapter a night, to my youngest daughter at bedtime. I can't remember how many months it took us, but I was sad when we finished.

    Finally, I noticed you signed your letter Martha Jane. I've always called you Martha. Do you prefer using both names? I'm from the South, and have many cousins with double names, so I love that. Anyway, if that is your preference, I will switch!

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    1. It's so funny you should mention the double name, Galen. I go by Martha for the most part, although my publisher (whose first name is Jane) decided to include my middle name on my books. It's funny, too, that my parents gave me two names, a Southern tradition, and they were from the North. Go figure! :)
      I love the exercise you've done in writing out your prayers, then answering using nondominant hand - very creative! I'll have to try that sometime.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Love and blessings!

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    2. If you try the prayer response exercise, let me know how that works for you!

      And about the name--did your parents call you Martha Jane? That would be very Southern--especially for Yankees!

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    3. Very Southern, indeed!
      I will try out the prayer method while I'm on vacation this week and let you know, Galen. Thanks!

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  9. Brilliant post, Martha. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your solutions:) I am trying every day to forgive and chose peace in those moments I feel bitter and filled with resentment. IT is a daily practice and something that I am working on daily as C.S. suggests :) My anger and ego is my humanness. My choice to forgive (daily and as many times as needed) is the divine.

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    1. Thank you for the kind compliment, Vishnu!
      Yes, it is a struggle for me, too, and it is a daily practice. Forgiveness is a choice, one that God wants us to do, rather, commands us to do. If we wish to be obedient to Him, and who doesn't, what else could we do?
      Love and blessings!

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