Today marks the 49th anniversary of the passing of a great man. One who left his mark on his country and his culture. One who is still quoted to this day. On November 22, 1963, the world little noted his passing in the shock and outpouring of grief over the assassination of JFK. That man was Clive Staple Lewis…oddly enough, like JFK, ”Jack” to his friends.
C. S. Lewis, author of The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity and The Chronicles of Narnia, was a contemporary and friend of J. R. R. Tolkien. He was also an atheist who came to Christianity, in his own words, “kicking and screaming”, who became one of its strongest apologists.
You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England.-Surprised by Joy
His books have been translated into dozens of languages and sold millions of copies over the years. Anthony Hopkins portrayed him in the movie Shadowlands (1993), the story of his romance with American poet Joy Gresham, who died of cancer a mere handful of years after they met.
His life was rich and varied. His sorrows deep and vast. His legacy is enduring.
In our remembrance of those who passed this day, one might do well to remember what can be accomplished with just a pair of Jacks!