10 April 1944
I sometimes feel appalled at the thought of the sum total of human
misery all over the world at the present moment: the millions parted,
fretting, wasting in unprofitable days - quite apart from torture,
pain, death, bereavement, injustice. If anguish were visible, almost
the whole of this benighted planet would be enveloped in a dense dark
vapor, shrouded from the amazed vision of the heavens! And the products
of it all will be mainly evil - historically considered. But the
historic version is, of course, not the only one. All things and all
deeds have a value in themselves, apart from their "causes" and
"effects." No man can estimate what is really happening sub specie
aeternitatis. All we do know, and that to a large extent by direct
experience, is that evil labors with vast power and perpetual success -
in vain: preparing always the soil for unexpected good to sprout in.
- cs lewis from "The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien"