A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Grief is the Price We Pay for Love

The title of this post is a quote I heard on the television the other day as I was passing from the living area into the kitchen. I do not know who said it, but the comment has stuck in my mind ever since.

It is the case is it not, that grief is, at the very least, one of the prices we pay for love? C.S Lewis grieved deeply over his wife's death, writing about it in his remarkable book, A Grief Observed. It was the death of his wife Martha after giving birth, that devastated Thomas Jefferson. Christian philosopher, Nicholas Wolterstorff went through the heart-wrenching tragedy of the death of his twenty-five year old son. Like Lewis, he too wrote a book entitled, Lament for a Son.

Grief is the price we pay for love. Wives and husbands know that, at some point in the future, unless both happen to die at the same time, one will grieve for the other. In most cases children will one day bury their parents, and some parents will mourn the death of a child. This is true for all relationships, including siblings and friends. Yet, in spite of the grief, we continue to love. Lord Tennyson was correct: "'Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all."

God loves us because he is love. Since human beings are made in God's image, the desire to love and be loved are essential to our nature. Since God so loves us, God is also grieved: he is grieved over the almost inexplicable suffering in the world, he mourns with us as our loved ones die, since he loves them too. God is sorrowed by our sin and our continued insistence of living life outside his lordship. God could save himself the pain and just abandon us and the world, but that would not do either; for who can abandon those who are truly loved? It is love that motivates us to stick with each other through "thick and thin." It is love that sent God himself to the cross for us.

Grief is the price we pay for love, but the reward is relationship, which is what God wants from us and for us most of all.


Anonymous said...

It was said by Queen Elizabeth II

Anonymous said...


It was said by C S Lewis. It's the line that comes near the end of "Shadowlands," the film about C S Lewis and his falling in love (much to his surprise) with the American Joy Gresham: http://www.spiritualityandpractice.com/films/films.php?id=4611
Queen Elizabeth II quoted it from the film. It's a great film about a great life.

Anonymous said...

That is only one-half of the thought that I am trying to recall. My friend just now (by phone) told me how it ends. You might enjoy knowing the rest; here it is in full: "Grief is the price we pay for love, and dear as that price is, it is not one we grudge paying." Said by a Lord High Chancellor of England (name forgotten by my friend) upon the death of his brother from a fox hunting accident.

Br Joseph D. said...

I found this quote attributed to Queen Elizabeth 2, "Grief is the price of love: the cost of commitment.