I love reading old books; there’s something about the language people used in previous centuries ago that warms my little heart. These are the books that I want to just immerse myself in, letting the language of a long-gone era wash over me.
C.S. Lewis was a prolific writer who was able to communicate deep things about the Lord and the Christian life with clarity and vulnerability. He was a deep thinker and was courageous enough to wrestle with difficult topics in a public forum. He’s probably best known for his Chronicles of Narnia series (if you haven’t read these books, I highly recommend them), but he also penned Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Four Loves, all of which I think are worth reading. Each one is thought-provoking and worth meditating on.
But, for me, the most impactful of Lewis’s books is The Problem of Pain. I first picked up this book because the title resonated with me: I’m consistently in pain, which sometimes makes it hard for me to worship and trust God (#honestmoment), so I hoped this book would help me gain perspective.
My favorite part of the entire book is where Lewis describes The Fall. He explains that this happened when they began thinking of themselves as nouns instead of focusing on God who is the Noun and understanding their valuable place as adjectives.
This concept has stuck with me for years and plays over and over in my mind. Adjectives are intended to describe the noun, just as we are made in God’s image and, when we accept Christ, we are able to display him to the world. We were created to point back to him.
I have to look at the character of God and then ask myself if I’m displaying those characteristics to a hurting world. And most of the time I’m falling well short of the mark. But, when I begin to try and make myself the Noun again, the Lord always reminds me of the passage from this book so I can shift my focus back to where it belongs.
This is one of many challenging and encouraging truths found in the book. Check out The Problem of Pain today and meditate on the goodness of God in a dark and painful world.
Do you have a favorite C.S. Lewis book? What about it impacted you the most?
Do you see yourself as an adjective or a noun?
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