Forgiving a Bully: Lewis’ Lifelong Struggle

I came across this comment in Letters to an American Lady. In Surprised by Joy, Lewis shows great generosity for the schoolmaster who quite brutal to him and others–I describe here in “On the Nobody Somebody Has Inside: Lewis, Me, and Bullies.” I had thought that he had accepted the man’s psychotic break and the harsh structures of private school, and moved on. But see here:

“Dear Mary … Do you know, only a few weeks ago I realized suddenly that I at last had forgiven the cruel schoolmaster who so darkened my childhood. I’d been trying to do it for years; and like you, each time I thought I’d done it, I found, after a week or so it all had to be attempted over again. But this time I feel sure it is the rel thing. And (like learning to swim or to ride a bicycle) the moment it does happen it seems so easy and you wonder why on earth you didn’t do it years ago. So the parable of the unjust judge comes true, and what has been vainly asked for years can suddenly be granted. I also get a quite new feeling about ‘If you forgive you will be forgiven.’ I don’t believe it is, as it sounds, a bargain. The forgiving and the being forgiven are really the very same thing. But one is safe as long as one keeps on trying.

This letter is written on July 6, 1963. C.S. Lewis fell ill nine days later. He never fully recovered.

Advertisements

About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
This entry was posted in Memorable Quotes and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Forgiving a Bully: Lewis’ Lifelong Struggle

  1. Pingback: Thoughts With An American Lady: Thinking About Lewis’ Late-in-Life Letters | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  2. Why is it I always feel like you do?

    Like

  3. kindle says:

    I am new to blog subscriptions and I am looking for an easy reader that is nice and organized that lets me view my blogs from my homepage or has a little scrollbox that is always up on the side of the computer screen. I started to use bloglines but it is really unorganized with all the blog names lined up on the side. Thanks a lot!.

    Like

  4. Pingback: “Jill Pole Was Crying Behind the Gym”: Bullying at the Experiment House | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  5. Pingback: Bullies Then and Now: Bullying’s Effect on Everyday Life | A Pilgrim in Narnia

  6. Pingback: Narnian Pilgrims and The Evil of Middle Management | A Pilgrim in Narnia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s