After Death in Family,
How God Used C.S. Lewis and U2 to Bring Healing
This article is a new version of a recent post on my author blog Stabs of Joy.
In 2010 I experienced an unexpected tragedy — a loss in my family — and it was devastating. I lost my mom. And she was still young by today’s life expectancy standards — just in her early 60s.
The sorrow from it all exposed some things. It made me realize something important: I could talk the talk all the day about Christian joy, but I really wasn’t experiencing Christian joy.
I asked God to change that. I asked Him to fix me.
And He did.
God saw fit to use a few souls birthed on the Emerald Isle to help accomplish the job: a stack of books by the Belfast-born C.S. Lewis and a large pile of albums by the Dublin-raised band U2 (#U2, #U2Fans).
Among a multitude of things, I learned that joy — real joy, the eternal kind — is not happiness perfected. Joy is hunger perfected — hunger for God perfected, to be more accurate.
As C.S. Lewis (#CSLewis) pointed out, joy is an unsatisfied desire — an intense desire — that is itself more desirable than any satisfaction.
Joy stabs us when we least expect it. It’s not something we control. It’s not dependent upon earthly circumstances — i.e. if things are “going well.”
Joy is something external to us that invades our senses. It uses common, everyday experiences, objects, and nostalgic memories to overwhelm us with a sudden sensation of longing for something — but for what? We don’t know. We just feel the longing, and it is a sweet sensation.
Just the sensation of that spiritual hunger — this longing — is more wonderful than any earthly satisfaction.
It’s hunger for the Fount of Joy — the Living God who made all things good.
Check out Stabs of Joy where I will be exploring dozens of C.S. Lewis books and U2 albums to answer one question: how do we actually experience (and not just talk about) the joy of Christ in the middle of painful trials?