Did you know that C.S Lewis loved Beatrix Potter’s books when he was a young child? In Surprised By Joy he described an early stab of joy after reading Squirrel Nutkin. Now, few people believe Squirrel Nutkin to be world-changing stuff. It’s just a silly story. But what about The Chronicles of Narnia? What about The Abolition of Man? Till We Have Faces? Mere Christianity? OK, now it’s getting harder to say these titles are not world changing. The work of C.S. Lewis has certainly changed my world, and my family’s, and hundreds, maybe thousands, of people I know.
Everyone wants to be the next C.S. Lewis, and there’s a way in which that’s healthy and a way it probably isn’t. The world doesn’t need another C.S. Lewis, or we’d have one. But I can see how God could use a teeming horde of romantic rationalists to turn the world upside down with imagination, light, wisdom, and the thousand other gifts Lewis, and those like him, have given us.
What I want to say to you and me is this. Maybe we are not one of those “New Lewises.” Maybe we are more like Beatrix Potter. Maybe we are giving something small and beautiful like a delicate flower, so that in the soul of another someone, it might grow into such a tree as to shade millions.
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