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Friday, November 22, 2013

50th anniversary of his death -- C. S. Lewis

Theres plenty of media discussion about the 50th anniversary of the tragic death of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. There were, no doubt, millions of people, all over the world, who died on November 22, 1963. One such was C. S. Lewis, who died of a heart attack.

Lewis was a teacher, an author, and one who was charitable to many people, in ways that didn't attract attention to himself. One of his charities was to assume responsibility for the mother of a fellow soldier. Lewis entered World War I before he was 20. He and a foxhole buddy agreed that if one of them survived, and the other did not, the survivor would assume responsibility for the parent of the other one. Lewis did that faithfully.

Lots could be said, and has been said, about the writing of Lewis. I will refer to only three of them. Much more could be said.

In The Silver Chair, one of the Narnia books, Puddleglum tells Eustace and Jill that there are no accidents. Aslan, the Christ-figure in these books, knew the future consequences of all actions. See here for my post on that book. I didnt do the book justice.

There is also a magnificent resurrection scene in that book. King Caspian, dead of old age, receives his glorified body, and is restored to youth and vigor.

While a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, I was looking for something to read in the University Library. I stumbled upon the Narnia books, by accident, in the children's fiction section. This was my first contact with Lewis. I am still learning from him. I have an e-book of devotional readings for each day of the year, excerpted from his works. No readings from The Silver Chair, though.

A lesser-known fictional work by Lewis, is Till We Have Faces. Some critics consider that his best work of fiction. So did Lewis. I agree. It is about a fictional kingdom before the time of Christ. The protagonist, Orual, has been fussing at “the gods” over the life she has lived – couldn’t it have been better? But she suddenly realizes that all her questions are answered, just by God, Himself. In His presence, pain, feelings, inconveniences don't matter. See here for my post on that book.

Thanks for reading. Read Lewis!

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