"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,
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!
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.