War

My memories of the last war haunted my dreams for years. Military service, to be plain, includes the threat of every temporal evil; pain and death which is what we fear from sickness; isolation from those we love which is what we fear from exile: toil under arbitrary masters, injustice, humiliation, which is what we fear from slavery: hunger, thirst and exposure wh. is what we fear from poverty. I’m not a pacifist. If it’s got to be it’s got to be. But the flesh is weak and selfish and I think death would be much better than to live through another war. Thank God he has not allowed my faith to be greatly tempted by the present horrors. I do not doubt that whatever misery He permits will be for our ultimate good unless by rebellious will we convert it to evil. But I get no further than Gethsemane: and am daily thankful that that scene of all others in Our Lord’s life did not go unrecorded. But what state of affairs in this world can we view with satisfaction? If we are unhappy, then we are unhappy. If we are happy, then we remember that the crown is not promised without the Cross and tremble.

- Letters of C. S. Lewis
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