C.S. Lewis wrote,
“After I’ve been dead five years, no one will read anything I’ve written.”
Well Jack, you were wrong and we are so thankful because of it.
On this day 50 years ago the beloved Clive Staples “Jack” Lewis passed away from renal failure. It was onNovember 22nd, 1963 when Lewis passed and his death received little media attention due to the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy. His incorrect prophetic words above were likely due to the nature of publishing at that time and how easily books would go out of print. For the next fifty years, Christians young and old discovered his writings from Till We Have Faces to The Screwtape Letters to The Chronicles of Narnia. At the 2012 London Olympics, many other British writers were honored during the opening ceremonies; Lewis was omitted. Lewis has never had the widest appeal compared to other contemporary British writers but his readers have a passion for his work like none other. Perhaps his humility transcends today through subtle ways and readers share his words with others one by one.
I learned that he will finally receive an honor memorial in Poet’s Corner at Westminster Abbey. This gives me great joy knowing that hundreds of years from now someone will discover him for the first time when walking through the historic Abbey.
There are a handful of writers who have influenced my life and C.S. Lewis is on top of that list. As a new Christian almost twenty years ago, I was exposed to Mere Christianity and it helped me then as it does today to better understand the beautiful mystery of this grand faith. I recently read a couple biographies about his life like Alister McGrath’s C.S. Lewis and I encourage you to do the same to learn more about he and his writings. You can view a complete list of his works here but if you have never read his books, start with the classics like Mere Christianity, The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Four Loves, Surprised by Joy, The Screwtape Letters, and The Pilgrim’s Regress.
I am still discovering his words and hope to until the day I die. My young daughters are close to the age of me sharing the great stories from The Chronicles of Narnia.
Thank you Jack for your faith, your boldness, and for allowing God to work through you in your pain and your joy. We all feel it through your words and will share it with generations to come.