A Reading Rainbow book recommendation

I just finished a book I began late last night. That's the sign of a good, good read. I'm sure many of you have read this one, but if any of you have not, I highly recommend this is quick, fast paced story that offers so much to chew on.

It's all about hell and heaven and the conversations that might lead from one to the other. There is so much to take away from this book, but my favorite is a new image of what hell might be like. Lewis writes of how quarrelsome everyone is:

"As soon as anyone arrives he settles in some street. Before he's been there twenty-four hours he quarrels with his neighbour. Before the week is over he's quarrelled so badly that he decides to move. Very likely he finds the next street empty because all the people there have quarrelled with their neighbours- and moved. If so he settles in. If by chance the street is full, he goes further. But even if he stays it makes no odds. He's sure to have another quarrel pretty soon and then he'll move on again. Finally he'll move right out to the edge of the town and build a new house. You see, it's easy here. You've only got to think a house and there it is. That's how the town keeps growing leaving more and more empty streets." (Lewis, 10)

I've always thought of hell as 'apart from God' but this offers such a visual of what existence would be like without the relational tools God has give us such as forgiveness, reconciliation, patience, honesty and kindness. Without these gifts, we are only left with our selfish demands and trying to live with everyone else's selfish demands. In our own lives we see our own and everyone else's selfish demands everyday, but thank God for the ability to work things out, for honesty and truthful communication, and that God created us to be relational beings, set up in communities so that we must learn how to use these God-instructed gifts.


annika said...

"set up in communities" and "relational people" . . .hmmm. i need to read this book too. (: thanks!

Rory said...

i like your coining of "relational tools". Never thought of it this way -- that we are only thriving here on earth through God's good gifts (even when we don't acknolwedge him).