Dear Jack. I mean Mr. C. S. Lewis


Dear Jack,

May I call you that? You and I are going to become friends again this year. Maybe it’s too soon. Maybe I should stick with Professor Lewis.

Yours, Jessica

So, I just devoured C.S. Lewis’ Letters to An American Lady. Yesterday, I devoured Randy Alcorn’s Paradox of Grace and Truth which was equally fabulous.

I read Lewis in college and as a child with the Narnia series. But, I have planned to re-read his most famous writing for the last few years. Well, I had intended to start reading again in general, and had failed. Last year, does not count. I am horrible at reading when I’m pregnant. It would have been awesome to read on bedrest. Nope. Can’t read well when I’m pregnant. I don’t know why. I can read a page six times and have no idea what I read. I think it’s a focus problem. I think when I’m overly tired or sick I just can’t think. It’s pretty lame though.

So, be prepared, I’m probably going to start quoting Lewis as often as possible. In fact, I think I’m going to probably talk right back to him. He seems the type that would enjoy that. Or rather, maybe not. But, the type convinced it necessary and would listen. This book was a fast read, of course, because it is a series of letters between Lewis and a Mrs.______/ Mary who must have become a fan of his writing; but it seems he had never met. And it wasn’t too much to digest.  Apparently after Lewis died in ’63, she gave the letters to someone as long as she remained anonymous. Of course, I’m going to have to do my homework and find out if anyone figured out who she is. But, the letters were fabulously whitty, charming, gracious, spirit filled, and funny.

Here is a little smattering of one of his excerpts when it seems that “Mrs. _________” has faced some feelings of being rejected by Friar A.

“Extra faith has been give to meet crises before, and I pray that it will be now. Be very much on guard against the growth of a feeling that Fr.A. or anyone else ‘does not sound interested’. When we are in trouble we easily think this, don’t we? And at all times, we very easily misinterpret expressions of face and tone of voice. Often, too, the person we speak to is at the moment full of troubles we know nothing about….”

Oh, dear Jack, you mean to say it is not about me? You mean to say that when I am hurting that all of the world is not against me. I mean, of course, it is against me because it’s the world. But, to say my feelings may not reflect reality. Will you please leave me alone with al l this truth?!

He also addresses some subjects repeatedly throughout the years of their conversation including issues on being a busybody, accepting help, accepting forgiveness, etc. His most candid conversation with her is basically about not freaking out over dying. “…I am overjoyed at the blessed change in your attitude to death….For you were rather badly wrong on that subject. ..” I seriously forgot his humor. I want to write more about his entire conversation on death. It’s too fabulous for a smattering post.

This is another statement that has made us fast friends. “I love the empty, silent, dewy, cobwebby hours…”

Me, too. Jack! I love them! Although, it’s become a bit more challenging to great them alone since the two littest men in my home love them also. My favorite moments are in the summer, when it’s balmy and sticky at 6 am and the world is waking up. To creep outside with my hands wrapped around a cup of coffee and a Bible and notebook tucked under my arm. My new home has a balcony off our bedroom. I love it…even though it’s a bit invaded by the street below. Even for a moment, the quiet of the world waking up. The possibility of all the day could hold. The sky so empty and still. The silence that captures the voice of God in moments of stillness that lends way to the chirping birds, or the honking geese, and school bus’ squeeky tires and flashing fog lights.

“It is simply my lifelong experience — that men are more likely to hand over to others what they ought to do themselves, and women more likely to do themselves what others wish they would leave alone. Hence both sexes must be told ‘Mind your own business’, but in two different senses!” 

Oh, touche, mon amie, Jacques. M’avez-vous écrit ces lettres ?

This is too much fun. I also agree with you, Jack, about all the sillyness and “racket” as you call it about using ‘Xmas’ and the frenzy leading up to Christmas, it is quite a bit much!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s