For me, Easter, Resurrection, and life in Christ always comes as a joyful surprise. Every year, every time I think about it; it is a wonderful surprise that not only sustains me, but keeps me awake and alive. I have Jesus, C.S. Lewis, and my mom and dad to thank, actually mostly Jesus.
I will never be accused of being smart. If I were comparing myself to any animal it would be a draft horse. I get by with a little intelligence, some brute strength and a lot of stubborn grit. So, when I began reading C.S. Lewis, it was a struggle.
I had read The Chronicles of Narnia years ago, but they were just fairy tales. I can handle fairy tales. Then I put my nose to the grindstone, and using all the aforementioned grit, to read some of Lewis’ theology.
I have found much of Lewis delightful. For instance, The Screwtape Letters, while thick, was a lot of fun. I was deeply touched by Lewis’ autobiographical, Surprised By Joy, which climaxes with his conversion to Theism. But, I found, A Grief Observed, where Lewis reflects on his wife’s death, almost unreadable. I just felt so bad for this friend I have come to know through his wonderful writing.
In 2002, after my mom died, and in 2008 when my dad died, I kept finding myself saying to others: “I have been surprised by joy.” I kept waiting for my breakdown, my doubts for them, my fears for their everlasting souls, my almost overwhelming grief. After all, my mom, dad, Kim, Chuck, and Matt were, and are my whole life. Yet, I kept and keep saying and feeling that I am “surprised by joy” while I still mourn their loss all these years later.
With apologies to Lewis, I constantly borrow that expression. For in my own parents deaths to this life, I have found for myself, the confirmation of a lifetime of belief in Jesus Christ and the sure and certain hope of the salvation he won for us all. It has truly been a surprising joy. This is Easter-faith for me.
It is a constant surprise to me. When the rubber hits the road, I truly believe in and depend on, and live into resurrection. Thanks Jesus, Lewis, Mom, and Dad.