The writer, professor, and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis died on this date in 1963.
Some of us recall him best for his Chronicles of Narnia series of books in which Aslan the lion serves as an allegory for Christ. The books are often found in the children’s section in libraries, but as Lewis once said, “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
Others of us might recall the movie “Shadowlands” starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger, based on Lewis’ life. It depicts his book, A Grief Observed, telling the poignant story of his relationship with Joy Gresham with whom he is engaged when she is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Still others may have found our way to Lewis’ more overtly theological works such as Mere Christianity or The Problem of Pain at a time in which we were questioning what we really believed.
During the holiday seasons, I am often drawn to his work, Surprised by Joy. Here Lewis uses the word “joy’” to translate the German concept of, Sehnsucht or “longing.” He speaks of the inexplicable, surprising moments of joy in his life which he came to experience as God.
As we enter the seasons of Thanksgiving, Advent, and Christmas, may we allow ourselves opportunities to be “surprised by joy”!