TO MRS. JOHNSON: On the real meaning of heaven—enjoying God forever.
25 May 1957
It was nice to hear from you again. I can’t remember how up to date you are with my news. Did I tell you that a new element of both beauty and tragedy had entered my life? I am newly married, and to a dying woman (She was the Joy Davidman whose Smoke on the Mountain, a lively modern treatment of the Ten Commandments, you may have read. An American). She is, and I try to be, very brave. I acquired two schoolboy stepsons. I myself am, not dangerously, but painfully and disablingly, ill with a slipped disc. So life is rather full. . . .
. . . Of course Heaven is leisure (‘there remaineth a rest for the people of God’ [Hebrews 4:9]): but I picture it pretty vigorous too as our best leisure really is. Man was created ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ Whether that is best pictured as being in love, or like being one of an orchestra who are playing a great work with perfect success, or like surf bathing, or like endlessly exploring a wonderful country or endlessly reading a glorious story—who knows? Dante says Heaven ‘grew drunken with its universal laughter.’
Pray for us both.
The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Volume III: Narnia, Cambridge, and Joy 1950-1963. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Yours, Jack: Spiritual Direction from C. S. Lewis. Copyright © 2008 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.