CS Lewis has had more of an impact on my life than any other writer. So I raise a pint to Jack (as he desired to be called by) and give a hearty “here, here!” to this amazing writer. And why? I wrote this a couple of years ago, but the thoughts remain the same. Perhaps this sums it up, at least for me.
After a number of years intently reading Lewis’s works, it is still hard for me to articulate the impact this author has had on my life and faith. There’s a hearty handshake and an offer to sit with him with a pint, and after a bit of conversation, and some anxious questioning on my part he jumps up and says “Let me show you something,” and leads me out the door to show me the landscape of faith, with its towering mountains, leafy glades, and roaring seas. We go hiking, swimming, climbing- and he knows or has struggled with every root in the path, every crested wave, and scrambled to find every foothold. And the best part is after a day’s journey finding an out of the way pub, where we sit and he pontificates on the sheer joy of the landscape and breathing the fresh air. He is not there to revel in the obscurity of it all, but the remarkable clarity of all things.
Coming across Puddleglum’s assertion to “Live like a Narnian,” in The Silver Chair, the peeling off of Eustace’s dragon skin in Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Wormwood losing his patient in The Screwtape Letters, longing for the irrigating of deserts in The Abolition of Man, tin soldiers becoming New Men in Mere Christianity, and impatient chargers stamping their hooves inMiracles, and Aslan’s roar throughout…there is much much more, but these images and situations have resonated within me, urging my soul to look up instead of down. Lewis allows the world to become larger because he sees the eternal beyond it. Not many writers do that nowadays. Lewis still does. And I say still not in the sense that he is still here among us, but in that larger sense a good writer attains when his/her work is around long after they have passed.