‘Love hurts’ sang the Everly Brothers in 1960, a sentiment taken up by others (Roy Orbison, Nazareth (named for the town in Pennsylvania USA), Jim Capaldi and Cher to name a few). ‘Love is just a lie, made to make you blue’, they sang, ‘I know it isn’t true, no it isn’t true’. Well, that’s not true, though it may sometimes feel like it. It’s certainly not true that the Love of God is a lie; though we find that even with Him, Love is never without pain. This first of three brief posts on the theme of Love and pain comes from C. S. Lewis…
C. S. Lewis wrote: “By the goodness of God we mean nowadays almost exclusively His lovingness; and in this we may be right. And by Love, in this context, most of us mean kindness – the desire to see others than the self happy; not happy in this way or in that, but just happy.
“What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, ‘What does it matter so long as they are contented?’ We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven – a senile benevolence who, as they say, ‘liked to see young people enjoying themselves’, and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, ‘a good time was had by all’.
“Not many people, I admit, would formulate a theology in precisely those terms: but a conception not very different lurks at the back of many minds. I do not claim to be an exception: I should very much like to live in a universe which was governed on such lines. But since it is abundantly clear that I don’t, and since I have reason to believe, nevertheless, that God is Love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction.”
From C. S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain