Perhaps one of the most famous and versatile English writers has been the Oxford, and then Cambridge, scholar: C.S. Lewis. Some readers, especially children, find the Narnia tales among the most captivating books they have ever read. First BBC and then Disney have come out with versions of the Narnia Chronicles that have been seen by tens of millions. University students often reserve their greatest appreciation for C.S. Lewis’ science fiction trilogy. Clyde Kilby describes him as “the kind of writer who can usher the reader into a new world, into a continuing process of discovery that reconstitutes his way of thought and life.”
Where did C.S. Lewis get his vivid skill at being able to describe fantasy and science-fiction worlds that fascinate and delight the imagination? Scholars attribute the development of this creative ability to his childhood love of nature.
If C.S. Lewis had moved to Canada, I could easily see him wanting to live in the Deep Cove area, with its magnificent forest, water, and mountains. Lewis’ love of nature was something that he never outgrew. Once his older brother brought a toy garden into the nursery. It made Lewis vividly aware of nature — not as a storehouse of forms and colours but as something cool, dewy, fresh, and exuberant. Years later, he stood beside a flowering currant bush on a summer day. Suddenly there arose within him without warning an “enormous bliss”, a joy that made everything else that had happened to him insignificant in comparison. The rest of his life became the search for that authentic joy that makes all life meaningful. He went through a long period of atheism and cynicism about the world. But he could not ultimately deny the mysterious beauty that he saw in nature.
In his first step to faith, he began to hold that “Beauty is the call of the spirit in that Something to the spirit in us.” Gradually Lewis started to realize that the more that he grasped after the Joy in nature, the less of it he would experience. It was his very tendency to analyze and tear apart all his experiences that robbed him of the joy of his experience. As C.S. Lewis discovered, “It is impossible to both kiss one’s girlfriend and analyze the kiss at the same moment.” To do so is to dissipate the reality of the kiss.
Lewis began to realize that his search for Joy could not be found in Joy alone, but in that to which Joy points. It could not be found in nature alone, but in that to which nature points. C.S. Lewis began to discover the supernatural behind the natural. As Lewis put it in a letter to a friend, “Today I got such an intense feeling of delight that it sort of stopped me in my walk and spun me round. Indeed the sweetness was so great, and seemed so to affect the whole body as well as the mind, that it gave me pause…Everything seems to be beginning again and one has the sense of immortality.” C.S. Lewis later wrote an autobiography entitled “Surprised by Joy”, to express how shocked he was to find that Jesus Christ could make such a difference in his everyday life.
My prayer for those reading this article is that we may open our eyes to the beauty around us and that we may experience the Joy of knowing the Supernatural behind the Natural.
Sandy Brown and her family have just moved to Spokane, Washington where her husband, Scott, is pastoring a new church. With a fresh start, Sandy is determined to devote more time to her four children. But, within weeks of settling in their new life, the Brown family is plunged into turmoil.
Sandy receives shocking news that her children aren’t safe, which brings back haunting memories of the trauma she experienced as a girl. Then, the unthinkable happens…
A brutal attack puts Sandy on the brink of losing everything she’s loved. Her faith in God and the family she cherishes are pushed to the ultimate limit.
Is healing possible when so many loved ones are hurt? Are miracles really possible through the power of prayer? Can life return to the way it was before?
Blue Sky reveals how a mother’s most basic instinct isn’t for survival… but for family.
If you’re a fan of Karen Kingsbury, then you’ll love Blue Sky. Get your copy today on paperback or kindle.
-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form. Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.
To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.
– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD. This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.