On September 19th, 1931, after an intense conversation with J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis became a Christian. I humbly suggest that the Butterfly effect from that stage of his conversion — an earlier stage included a necessary pit-stop at Theism for the former atheist — may be the most consequential wing flap by a layperson in all of Christendom.
For me, Lewis the revelation – in reading Lewis, there are actual moments where I literally pause to appreciate the wave of grace lapping up from the pages – has turned into Lewis the daily inspiration. Largely due to Lewis, I now view what I previously considered seemingly inconsequential daily decisions as either moving me towards or away from God, period. We wish that it were otherwise, that there were ponderous and weighty gray areas. I now see those gray areas largely as effective lies courtesy of The Enemy, to coin a phrase.
Taking a que from Albert Brooks, ‘Defending Your Life,’ I picture Lewis’ ‘trial’ as having ended up as a unabashed celebration of faith as a seemingly endless stream of people recall the book, passage, verse, sentence or radio broadcast which most helped strengthen their faith. In my case, the cumulative effect of Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters.
Can you imagine what it felt like to be in Lewis’ shoes at that trial? St Catherine of Siena likely knew what Lewis would experience when she wrote, “All the way to heaven is heaven, for He [Jesus] said, ‘I am the Way.’”