“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.”- C.S. Lewis
Today is an extremely sobering day for America and any of those who were alive at the time of Kennedy’s assassination. Obviously, I wasn’t even a thought in anyone’s mind at the time, so I can’t fully what it felt like to experience the shock of JFK's murder on that day. However, what I can speak about is another man whose death often gets looked over on November 22nd, a man I consider equally as impressionable and inspirational as JFK.
That man is Clive Staples Lewis.
If you have read any of my blog from this past summer, you would know that I had the privilege of intensely studying the life and works of CS Lewis for 6 weeks. I can’t describe the incredible encouragement and growth I gained from that experience as an individual, a scholar, and most importantly, a believer in Christ. I learned to not simply take situations or experiences at face value, but to contemplate every word, every punctuation, every possible underlying meaning of one of Lewis’s articles. Therefore, I have no other option but to thank this man in the only way I know how for all that I learned from him.
It always amazes me that a man who can write an article with such gravity as The Weight of Glory (I HIGHLY encourage you to read it by the way) can take his wisdom and inspiration and transform it into a children’s series about a lion, a witch, and a wardrobe. How can a series touch the life of both a 7 year old and a 50 year old man? It all comes down to the fact that it isn't the series touching the people. It's the meaning behind it and the realization that we are all so hungry for our own Aslan, our own Savior.
I am incredibly thankful for Lewis because of how many lives he’s touched, and literally saved through his own criticism and writings. It always astounds me that he tried to disprove the reality of a higher being, because he couldn’t understand why a God would love something so unworthy as the human race. He tried to use the concepts of logic, naturalism, and realism, but all ultimately failed to live up to the reality that there is no other explanation for this crazy thing we call life but God and his unconditional, never ending love for us. How many people had the same criticisms as Lewis, and because of his writings and the will of God, were saved from an eternity of hopelessness?
I can never really express how grateful I am for the wisdom of Lewis, but I had to give it a shot. Because of him I have come that much closer to realizing that while I am so helpless because of my sin, I am redeemed by the hope that lies in the unconditional love of Christ. I know that we Americans celebrate the inspiring figure that JFK was on this sobering day, and rightfully so. My only hope is that we wouldn't discount the memory and inspiration of the man behind Aslan.
“To please God…to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness..to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son-it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”-C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self---in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.”