Do you remember your conversion experience – the moment you realized your need of a Savior and committed your life to Him? Were you in a church? At a spiritual retreat? Among close friends? Were you overjoyed? Grateful? At peace?
Regardless of the circumstances, your conversion was probably nothing like that of C. S. Lewis.
C. S. Lewis, the famous author of The Chronicles of Narnia, was an ardent and outspoken atheist during the first part of his adult life, but while teaching at Oxford, the brilliant writer and thinker began to ask himself haunting questions about his atheism. Lewis’ disbelief in his own disbelief was further nurtured through long talks with fellow writer J. R. R. Tolkien, a Christian, and the author of The Lord of the Rings.
Finally, truth came crashing into Lewis’ life causing his hatred of God to collapse into a pile of mental rubble. He described the event in the following way:
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. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The prodigal son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and his compulsion is our liberation.
There were no choirs singing Just As I Am when Lewis came to Christ. He wasn’t in a church…or even the right frame of mind, necessarily. But he came to Christ, nonetheless.
And Christ saved him completely.
And Christ used him mightily.
There is no love, no mercy, and no grace like that of Christ’s.
Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C. S. Lewis. Free Press, 1970, Pages 228-229.
Topics Illustrated Include:
C. S. Lewis
(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)