Okay, I don’t mean to do it. Really. I just can’t help it.
It’s not because I am nosey that I eavesdrop … it’s because I’m blind! I can’t help that I hear really, really well.
Seriously, don’t whisper around me. My ears will hone in on whatever you are hoping I won’t hear. If you’re in a coffee shop at the table next to me, you better keep your voice down or you just may turn up in one of my blogs … just like this guy did.
I once overheard an animated discussion about C.S. Lewis centered at the table next to me at a coffee shop. One obvious opponent of Christianity spoke on the movie Shadowlands, which depicts part of the life of C.S. Lewis.
My ears perked up as the young man confidently proclaimed that Lewis came to a faith in Christ because his wife developed cancer. He stated that deep suffering and grief drew Lewis to faith out of desperation.
Perhaps the movie misrepresented or the young man misinterpreted, but I could not disagree more. Nothing could be further from truth.
Suffering did not draw C.S. Lewis to Christ. Suffering tested his faith and eventually confirmed what he already believed. C.S. Lewis found faith years before his marriage … at the intersection of logic and wonder.
Lewis came to faith at age 29 while riding in his brother’s motorcycle sidecar to Whipsnade Zoo. There was no deep discussion about Christianity on that ride with his brother; no Christian radio playing in the background; no Bible in his hands. He was simply drawn in–enticed. He described it later this way:
“When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did. Yet I had not exactly spent the journey in thought. Nor in great emotion. Emotional perhaps is the last word we can apply to some of the most important events. It was more like when a man, after a long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake.”
His sensitivity to what happened on that motorcycle ride might have been prompted by a conversation he had with J.R.R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson just a few nights earlier. The friends discussed metaphor and myth, which was of particular interest to Lewis. Both men explained that the pagan myths of dying and resurrecting gods did not disprove Christianity. Rather, they argued, those myths reveal that pagan believers glimpsed Truth, and would one day realize it in the incarnation. In other words, these myths were simply echoes and shadows of truth.
Attraction to mystery, fantasy and wonder made Lewis seek what he could not understand and accept what made him long for more. His longings, his unmet longings, made him desire what was not of this world.
He experienced his deepest joy in unmet longings. Through logic and wonder, that joy made him aware of the existence of something beyond himself. It prompted a knowing of something more real than what he knew–something satisfying even in the thirst.
It’s as if the longings, myths, the “good dreams,” drew him to a logical belief in Christ. He once said, “If I find within myself a longing that nothing in this world can meet, it must mean I was made for another world.”
He’s right about that.
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The result of our spiritual conversion is like a man who has been asleep and suddenly realizes he is awake – awake eternally, awake completely, so awake that he recognizes truth and is captivated by the wonder of it.
The Logic of the Gospel compels us. The Mystery and Wonder of the Gospel attracts us.
I want to experience millions of moments in this life where logic and wonder intersect.
I would love to live in a place where my wonder doesn’t destroy my logic and my logic initiates wonder. I want logic and wonder to collide daily in my spirit. The result creates renewed faith and reverence.
C.S. Lewis later wrote, “I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.”
Therein lies the logic. Therein begs the wonder.
Do you see why I love C.S. Lewis? He gets me thinking about the deep mysteries of God!