“A Severe Mercy”

You think it's good?

Just one month into our wedding, I had an experience that changed my life.

It was a weekday evening, we were in bed, restless and trying to get some sleep. For some reason, it was just one of those nights when neither of us could get there. Just as one would start to drift off, the other would roll over, waking them again. Back and forth we went.

I’m thinking to myself, “If he would just hold still for 10 minutes, I could get some sleep!” In that moment, a new thought emerged that had never occurred to me before: “Just one month ago, you promised to love this person more than anyone else on the planet, and right now all you care about is your self. Your sleep. Your comfort.” I remember sitting straight up in bed and crying, I guess because I finally realized what a self-centered little twit I still was.

A Severe MercyShortly after this experience, a friend suggested I read a book called “A Severe Mercy” by Sheldon VanAuken. It’s an autobiography about a couple who met in the late 1930’s, fell head over heels in love, and their life together. VanAuken describes how, early in their relationship, they came up with a variety of rules to govern their romance, based on the idea that they so loved their LOVE, that they didn’t ever want to loose it. Was it possible to keep it? He also talks about their journey of finding faith together – which includes several letters exchanged with C.S. Lewis.

Caution: This Just Worked For UsAt any rate, that book, more than any other, gave us a sort of road map of where we wanted to take our relationship. Such good stuff. So, I’m going to recommend it! Disclaimer: it’s not a light, simple read. It’s not a modern novel. Some people love this book, some hate it. It’s poetic and artful, if you’re into that kind of thing. I’m not particularly into poetry, but I’m a sucker for honesty and true love.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.