Sheldon Vanauken on Comparing Ourselves to Others

If you haven’t read A Severe Mercy yet, you’ve got to. I’m not a guy who craves chick-flicks at all, but this is a love story about a man and a woman (told from the man’s point of view) and of a God and his children. It is also the story of how Vanauken befriended C. S. Lewis. There’s lots of interest here, and it’s all well-written. Do check it out.

There is a point in the story where Vanauken is contemplating the differences in the devotions of himself, his wife (Davy), and a mutual friend of theirs (Julian):

“Davy, whom I saw as far ahead of me on the Way as she saw Julian to be ahead of her, fell far short, in her own eyes, of the glory of God, as of course Julian, in his own eyes, fell short. To me, both were holy. The distance is infinity, and position is relative. Even I perhaps may have seemed holy to somebody. Some penitent villain” (p. 145).

–Sheldon Vanauken, A Severe Mercy, p. 145


About davestuartjr
Dave Stuart Jr. is a full-time teacher who writes about becoming better, saner teachers at He is a follower of Jesus Christ, a husband to Crystal, and a father to Hadassah, Laura, and Marlena.

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