Thursday, February 11, 2010

"Not a Tame Lion"

Next on the list is "Not a Tame Lion" by Terry Glaspey. It is about the life, thoughts and legacy of C.S. Lewis.

As a boy Lewis experienced pain and grief through the death of his beloved mother and later in the horrifying tragedies of World War I. At that point he turned his back on God and it was many years before he grudgingly admitted faith into his life once more. At last, after long, earnest debates and discussions with his close friends, J.R.R. Tolkein and Hugo Dyson he came to belief and trust in Christ. In the years following his conversion he passionately defended Christianity and became one of the greatest Christian apologists of the 20th century.

Much later in his life he met Joy Davidson Gresham and began a friendly correspondence with her. After going through a painful divorce and stranded with her two boys Joy found that her passport was running out and she must return to America...or marry an Englishman. Lewis, out of compassion married her in a civil ceremony so she could remain in the country. Soon afterward she was diagnosed with a terminal cancer and was given mere weeks to live. At last, C.S. Lewis discovered his own love for the woman and wished their marriage to be acknowledged by the church so he brought in a priest and they were married by her hospital bed. He took her home to die in his lovely estate called "the Kilns." Miraculously, Joy went into remission and the couple spent three happy years together before her cancer came back and claimed her life. The grief Lewis went through at this time was truly deep, emotional pain, yet of a different kind than his earlier grief for his mother. The one had driven him away from God, the other drove Him straight into the arms of his Heavenly Father. His book, "A Grief Observed" deals intimately with the struggles he went through at the time and how he dealt with the problems of grief and sorrow.

C. S. Lewis wrote many, many books on all sorts of topics, mostly theological, yet his style was readable, understandable, enjoyable, humorous and pithy. He is perhaps best known for writing the "Chronicles of Narnia," a series of allegorical fiction, and "Mere Christianity," quite literally a discussion on what it means to be a Christian.

Personally, growing up reading or listening to the "Chronicles of Narnia," I fell in love with the story, the majesty and holiness of the great Lion Aslan and then discovered in Christianity the same wonderful, awesome (in the truest sense of the word), glorious Character. At first it was the action and adventure of the stories that appealed to me and the more confusing 'theological' books (like "The Last Battle") were less interesting, but now, Lewis' brilliant illustration of Heaven in "The Last Battle" brings tears of joy and longing to my eyes and I eagerly await the day when we will all run together up the bright green slopes, charge up sparkling waterfalls, tumble down steep, mossy embankments, pick ourselves back up laughing and unhurt to follow the cry "Further up and further in!"

"The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning...All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."


  1. I have this book! It is in my To Be Read pile. I look forward to getting to it. After the first, or second episode of PBS's Emma there was a biography on Lewis. I wish I had recorded it because it was very well done and discussed his conversion to Christianity in a very positive way!

    thank you for posting on Lewis

  2. Thanks Mrs. B! It was a great read and very worth it. I've been getting to know more about Lewis' life, beliefs and writings lately. He was such a fascinating, intelligent man!