As one who has known the Lord Jesus as my Savior only 6 years, I am in the process of rereading this book to help me in my own marriage of nearly 38 years by being a reminder that Christ must be first and foremost central to the marriage to be an excellent one. This is a true story of a young, intellectual and fascinating couple married in the 1940s, the book written nearly 2 decades later by the husband, a contemporary and friend with CS Lews. And from the world's perspective the relationship between this man and woman appears to be the perfect marriage. They had an extraordinarily sacrificial, "best-friends," and deeply loving relationship where they shared ALL things and it was fun to read of their adventures together. And their relationship would have been an excellent marriage except they did not share the one thing that truly matters....faith in and a relationship with Christ Jesus. By God's grace, they do eventually come to faith, in part through the relationship and fascinating correspondence between the husband and CS Lewis which is published in this book and the relationship of other high-brow believers that the Lord placed in this couple's life. And while his wife continues in her deep love for the husband, yet he struggles to understand his wife's close relationship with Jesus, in part jealous that knowing God through Jesus has changed their relationship as husband and wife, Jesus having taken the central place in his wife's life. They had been equal partners in their marriage prior to this change and his wife quietly and prayerfully desired a Godly marriage where her husband would led, much of this the husband did not understand until after the wife's death while reading her journals. In the end the wife died at a young age from a prolonged illness, though loving and ministering to others including her dear husband to the very end showing the light of Christ within her. Her death was devastating to the husband who considered her the very breath he breathed, thus the severe part of the severe mercy. And it is merciful that the wife no longer had to struggle with her illness but instead be with her Lord, but more importantly it is merciful as the husband needed to make the Lord Jesus central in his own life. His wife had to be taken from him before he would see and seek the Lord as he should. Powerful testimony of a young couple coming to faith!
A Severe Mercy is a beautiful love story about Van and his wife Jean, known as Davy. The book describes their becoming Christians, and how their love becomes grounded in Christ - but not without pain and suffering. You will not be able to put down this deeply moving book.