A Different Kindness

Hello friends!

Sorry for the lack of recent posts, but moving, traveling and resettling takes some time!  I still have a significant amount of unpacking to do, but eh.  It will still be there when I finish this post 🙂

I’m so behind on blog-able events!  I have a recipe or two to share, a roommate excursion to Fort Casey to recount, and Graduation (not mine) to proudly post…but here I am, writing to you about something completely different.  See, when the Lord prompts me to write about a specific topic, I try to listen.  Perhaps I’ll come to a deeper understanding, and just maybe someone will stumble upon this blog who needs to hear the message.  So Lord, please be my words!!

I have a really lovely Bible.  It’s a NRSV (New Revised Standard Version) translation, but the real unique part about it is the fact that it’s a CS Lewis Bible.  Scattered throughout the pages of blessed words from God, are excerpts from many of CS Lewis’ books and writings.  These excerpts serve as reflections on specific passages from scripture, and while a lot of CS Lewis’ writings are way over my head, some of them click.  Like the one I’m about to share.

The passage for reflection is Romans 2:4-8, however I think verse 4 is the “stinger”:

“Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience?  Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (emphasis mine)

The CS Lewis excerpt is taken from A Grief Observed and is titled “God’s Kindness”.  Lewis wrote this while grieving the death of his wife.  Let that sink in for a moment before reading on.

And for the record, I’m still trying to figure more of this excerpt out…I just am starting to get the drift 🙂

“The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness.  A cruel man might be bribed – might grow tired of his vile sport – might have a temporary fit of mercy, as alcoholics have fits of sobriety.  But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good.  The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will he will go on cutting.  If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless.  But is it credible that such extremities of torture should be necessary for us?  Well, take your choice.  The tortures occur.  If they are unnecessary, then there is not God or a bad one.  If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary.  For no even moderately good Being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren’t. 

Either way, we’re for it.

What do people mean when they say, ‘I’m not afraid of God because I know He is good’?  Have they never even been to a dentist?” 

That’s kind of a big bite to chew on.  But if you chew on nothing else, chew on this, Romans 8:28:


The pain.  The joy.  The discomfort.  The peace.  The confusion.  The clarity.  It’s all part of God’s plan for our good.  Going back to Lewis’ surgeon metaphor: operations don’t make sense.  Why would cutting someone open be good – make someone better?  But because in the end it will have a benefit, the surgeon kindly and lovingly makes incisions in the necessary places, just big enough to do the necessary work.  Then, the surgeon stitches the patient up, and the healing begins.

What in your life is “surgery”?  What challenge are you dealing with that seems needless, but upon closer inspection, is actually producing growth and good?

My answer to this question is pretty clear.  When could anorexia ever be a good thing?  It can cause damage, physical, emotional and relational.  It can amass some pretty hefty medical expenses.  It can be deadly.  But maybe it all comes down to how it’s handled.  And I’ll be the first to say: I haven’t always handled it well.  But it hasn’t been pointless, and I have faith that it will remain that way.

Yes, I’ve gotten upset, asking God to please, please, PLEASE take this dumb eating disorder away.  But “If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless.”  God, the Master Surgeon, knows what he is doing.  The pain is for a purpose – and some of that I’ve already seen.

I’ve grown, spiritually.  I’m more confident in who I am.  I’m more sensitive to others needs and feelings.  I’m more aware.  And sometimes, I can recognize when another is silently fighting ED.

And you know what?  I’m getting more and more excited to see how these stitches are going to heal.

I’d love to hear feedback on these thoughts.  Please join the conversation 🙂




5 thoughts on “A Different Kindness

  1. Wow, what a wonderful and beautiful blog Beth. What you wrote is so true. God sometimes has to do surgery in order to make us better. Having had a bunch of surgeries in my life I know what they’re like. “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of Righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Hebrews 12:11

  2. Surgery is such a colorful way to talk about the way God works with and through us daily. After all, He is the great physician, and that his medium would be operational surgery is very fitting in the metaphorical sense. And the brilliant part here is its broad application–it isn’t just physical, but emotional and spiritual as you mention above–but that the context can be individual, or relational! Our own individual relationship with God, and ourselves, and our relationships with others, be it family or friends or loved ones. And what is humbling, and all the same time exhilarating is what healing is occurring for those around is during our own time of healing. This imagery gives all glory to God and shows us how broad, or how fine a stitch of God can be, and gives just a glimpse of His sovereignty. A very courageous and brilliant post.

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