A few weeks ago we watched the documentary C.S. Lewis: Beyond Narnia
While not perfect, this documentary was well done, and I particularly liked the details into C.S. Lewis’s life that I had never known, such as:
- About his experience in the Great War, as well as what happened to him afterward.
- The fact that he and Warnie (his brother) took in four children from London during World War II. Can you say “The Pevensie Children”?
- Details of his courtship I had not known.
The only aspect I found objectionable was that they didn’t end on a clearly positive note of faith after his personal doubts and struggles following Joy’s death. Yes, he was human and struggled, but his faith held firm despite the difficulties, and I think they over-dramatized this.
Personally, I owe an incredible thanks to C.S. Lewis for indirectly leading me to faith in Christ. I say indirectly, because it was exactly that … as much of an indirection as can be imagined.
Here is my story:
I was not raised going to church. As such, I knew next to nothing about Christ.
When I was in sixth grade (1978), a close friend of mine named Christopher gave me a gospel tract. As expected, I didn’t understand it and stuck it in a drawer.
A little later Chris informed me that he liked a certain girl and that said girl was going to try out for a play, and that he therefore was going to try out for the play. Intrigued, and having never been in a play, I joined him.
The play? The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, amazingly enough! The director’s name: none other than Mr. Lewis! I don’t think there was any relation to C.S. Lewis, but I look back at that little connection and wonder…?
I was cast as Fenris Ulf, or Maugrim as he was known in the U.K. I had a wooden sword and fought Peter to the death. Of course, it was I who died, rather gloriously I might add, though I would probably laugh if I saw a video now.
Chris also told me that Aslan represented Christ, and I thought about that, but didn’t understand it exactly. It was a new idea—a lion who dies representing a religious figure who had died. That was probably the first time I understood that Christ had died.
Well, time rolled on, and school kept me and Chris apart for the next six years. But I enjoyed being in the play so much I got in another, and another, until two years passed.
Sadly (or happily? God was directing all this), through the plays I met a group of friends that played Dungeons and Dragons, a non-Christian role playing game. Through this group I met Richard, who was, and is, a close friend even now.
Richard was into wrestling, and the next year (1982) he influenced me to join the wrestling team. I did so, and during practice one day the coach brought in Christians from Athlete’s in Action who showed us wrestling moves, flipped us around—and also shared that Jesus Christ was more important to them than sports.
They passed out comment cards, and I checked a box saying that I’d like to get together to learn more about having a relationship with Christ. I met with a Student Venture staff member at a nearby Hardee’s and he explained the gospel of Jesus Christ to me.
And I made a decision to follow Christ.
There is more to the story about how God prepared my heart, and this through a dream related to King Arthur, but I will save that for another time.
Suffice it to say that C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe started it all off. It took three more years, and lots of bad choices on my part in between, but God was faithful, and the seeds He planted in my life He brought to fruition.
So thank you, Chris & Richard, and most of all I want to thank Mr. Lewis … both of you!