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Born on Nov. 29, 1898, C.S. Lewis would go on to write some of modern literature’s most influential works. He died in 1963, the same day as JFK’s assassination, therefore, his death went widely unnoticed.
Lewis was not a trained theologian nor was he ever ordained. As a matter of fact, in his early life, he was agnostic, some saying he was even an atheist. His popular work The Screwtape Letters was actually his autobiography where he wrote about how the demons must have perceived his conversion to Christianity.
Today, most people remember him for The Chronicles of Narnia. But Lewis’ works go so much further than just his children’s writings. His legacy has inspired me to change my life and go deeper into my relationship with Christ.
1. "No one but Lucy knew that as it [the albatross] circled the mast it had whispered to her, “Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice, a delicious smell breathed in her face.” The Voyage of The Dawn Treader.
In the chapter titled, The Dark Island, Lucy, Edmond, Eustace, and Caspian sail toward what they believe is an island. But as they approach, they find that it is nothing but darkness. Lewis wrote that the bow of the ship was filled with blackness even while beams of golden sunlight still danced at the stern.
There are times in our life when we are filled with darkness, even though there is light all around us. There is no hope to be found. We are full of sorrow and weariness.
Like Lucy, we stand on the edge of our ship; a ship that is ever more going into the darkness and we whisper, “Aslan, Aslan, if ever you loved us at all, send us help now.”
How many times have you cried out to God, “If You love me, why aren’t you helping me? If You care for me, please help me, Lord”. In those dark seasons, we miraculously keep pushing forward, through the darkness, knowing that it won’t last forever and the sun will shine on us again.
You see, the darkness didn’t subside when Lucy prayed her prayer. It didn’t magically go away. Lewis tells us that the darkness did not grow any less, BUT Lucy did begin to feel a little—a very, very little—better. “After all, nothing has really happened to us yet,” she thought. But then she heard a voice whisper to her spirit . . .
“Courage, dear heart,” and the voice, she felt sure, was Aslan’s, and with the voice a delicious smell breathed in her face.”
I have been in a very dark season. Lately, I feel as if I cannot see the light. But I keep pushing forward in the hope that one day the light will shine again. And like Lucy, I have cried out to God and heard His voice in my spirit, “Courage, dear heart.”
And no, the darkness doesn’t go away instantly, but I do feel a little better and I can feel the breath of God blow on me once again pushing me forward out of the darkness into His marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9)
2. “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.” Letters to an American Lady.
God’s best for us is always better than our current situation. But, sometimes the road from A to Z can be met with painful experiences. Be encouraged! The Lord will not cause pain without something new being born. (Isaiah 66:9)
If you are going through a chapter in your life where you are learning painful lessons, left and right, “Courage, dear heart.” He is with you every step of the way and the lessons you are learning right now will cause you to sparkle even brighter than you already are. Fight the fight, finish the course, keep the faith! You will make it.
3. “When we Christians behave badly, or fail to behave well, we are making Christianity unbelievable to the outside world.”
Wow. This one hit me right in the face. When people look at me, at how I react, at what I do in my life, are they seeing Jesus?
Am I a walking representation of Christ in the earth, or am I causing someone to believe that my faith is a fake?
When I want to respond to a situation, behave in a less than classy way, say something out of character, this quote pops into my head causing me to change my response, my strategy, and my behaviors. I want people to look at me and, before anything else, see the sparkle and light of The Lord radiating from me.
If you are tempted to behave in a way that is outside of the character of Christ, think of the bigger impact your behaviors have on the world. Let’s not make our believable Heavenly Father unbelievable to His creation because of our flaws.
4. “God doesn’t want something from us. He simply wants us.”
Can we even comprehend in our understanding that the God of all creation, the God of the heavens and earth doesn’t want or need anything from us? He simply wants us.
How many people do you know in your life that if you stopped giving to them, they’d be gone? I know a few. I am sure we all do.
But God doesn’t want anything from us, He just wants us. He wants our love, our devotion, our companionship. Little old us! The Psalmist David said it like this, “I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, moon and stars mounted in their settings.
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?” Psalm 8:3-4 The Message.
In the Wilderness, God instructed Moses to build a Tabernacle. Not so He could have some huge glorious church to dwell in. Not to give the people something to do while they were traveling out in the middle of no where.
God instructed them to build a Tabernacle “So I may DWELL with them.” (Exodus 25:8)
Friends, God doesn’t need anything but YOU. You are enough. You are His holy habitation. You are on His mind every minute of every day. YOU! And all He desires is to live with you, walk with you, sing and dance with you. He just wants amazing, wonderful, YOU!
5. “Since it is so likely that they will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.” Of Other Worlds
This quote doesn’t pertain to me personally but in how I want to raise my little boy. Oh my Asher!
My little boy is in a Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Avengers phase and this Momma has no idea about any of it. I played with Barbie and Hello Kitty! Who is Boba Fett and Kylo Ren? (Did I even spell those right?)
Of course, he doesn’t exist on a diet of these characters. There is a healthy dose of David and Goliath and Daniel in the Lions’ Den thrown in with Space Rangers and Leap Frog.
But given a choice, Pants will always choose Batman and Superman over Jake and the Neverland Pirates! He is growing up and his imagination is soaring.
I often wonder if it’s too much. The light sabers, the imaginary battles and attempts to kill the bad guys. It seems like a lot of "violence" for a six year old boy.
How will he ever know how to fight off the “real-world” bad guys if I never let him experience Batman saving Gotham - Superman saving Lois Lane - and Darth Vader coming back from the dark side into The Light? How will he understand how to become a hero to someone else if he doesn’t ever read about hero’s and knights? If he can't imagine defeating the "bad guys" how will he ever learn to deal with good vs. evil when real life sets in?
So for now, I will listen to my Asher talk endlessly about Iron Man and The Flash, Captain America and Batman because I hope one day he can become a hero to someone else.
I could write endlessly for days on everything CS Lewis taught us. He is a genius and truly one of God’s instruments to bring truth and understanding to His word and the world we live
I hope these five quotes will inspire you to change your lives, live fuller lives, raise heroic children and become courageous. You can get so much out of C.S. Lewis works.
YOUR TURN: What are your favorite quotes, books, or writings by C.S. Lewis? I would love to hear about them in the comments below?