The Great Divorce

This might well be Lewis’ most profoundly disturbing work of art — terrifying in its portrayal of evil and compelling in its portrayal of Good.

I never felt any desire to read this book before, primarily because it is usually described as a bus ride from hell to heaven and back, which does not sound to me like a particularly good story line. But the truth is that the bus ride is the least important aspect of the book.

I think I would rather describe this as perhaps the single most powerful image ever put into prose as to why we should want to be saved from ourselves. In fact after finishing the book I could not help but say out loud, “Oh God, save me from my foolish heart!” The stark contrast between good and evil, and how we can be swallowed up by our own mistaken desires for self-importance were emblazoned across the pages in stories of people who came face to face with Goodness in all its glory — and could not or would not take it in. And there but for the grace of God, go I.

What was even more upsetting to me were the stories of those who resembled certain relatives of mine who shall remain unnamed, as well as those traits I have seen in myself that need to be purged by the goodness of God. We are all in danger of becoming our own worst enemy. And nothing makes this more apparent than The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis.

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