I wasn’t planning on writing this. But I am. So I sat down this afternoon to watch Shadowlands. If you don’t know what that is, it’s a bio Pic about C.S Lewis, specifically about the love story between him and his wife, Joy Gresham. The film is adapted from a stage play of the same name. Both of which are beautiful. It’s one of my favorite movies, and if you watch it, you have to watch the one with Sir Anthony Hopkins. Anyone who knows me knows I love Jesus; I love C.S Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. And if I start to talk about any of these men long enough, I will and do cry—every time. The way the Lord has specifically used these two men to influence my life Is crazy beautiful and runs so deep. Some of my very first encounters with the Lord happened because the Holy Spirit baptized the imagination of both these men. These two friends. This is why in part, I get so emotional about both of them and why I can’t always put into words how much they mean to me. Not just as authors and revivalists but as people. Until today. Because as I sat there today watching Shadowlands for the hundredth time, it was funny, but it was as if I was watching an extra pair of grandparents fall in love. Please believe me. I know that C.S Lewis and Joy Gresham are not my grandparents. But I realized that C.S Lewis and Tolkien became like two extra spiritual Grandfathers, and I don’t know precisely when that happened. But I know that it happened, and it happened very quickly.
I took a C.S Lewis special topics class at college. And I remember one of my best friends after we were done with that class. He looked at me one day and said, “there were days Haley In the course where I thought you were going to throw hands with the professor.“ Because apparently, he could tell by the look on my face if I disagreed with what they were suggesting about Lewis. But I never actually did anything. I love that professor to this day.
I don’t love CS Lewis and Tolkien because they were perfect men. They weren’t, And there’s only one perfect man, his name is Jesus Christ. If you don’t know him, you should get to know him. Yes, I love their work as writers, the testimonies of their lives, and what the Lord has done and continues to do through these men. However, I haven’t sat down and had a conversation with either of these men’s families. But here’s what I know and what I’ve learned in part. When you sit with someone long enough, you get to know them, especially in a posture of being willing to listen (not always agree) but regardless of listening and learning. The oil and the anointing that the Lord pours out over an individual‘s life can be available to you as well if you ask and are willing to sit at the feet of that individual(s). And when you sit with someone long enough, you’ll begin to ask the Lord questions about how the Lord sees that person(s), And he’ll tell you. I’ve been sitting at the feet of Jesus my whole life. But I’ve also been sitting at the feet of Lewis and Tolkien since I was a little girl. I’ve gotten to know and love these men not because I know what their writing voices sound like or because I love their stories. I know them and love them because of how Jesus sees them and loves them. And, by extension, loves their families. You sit with someone long enough, and the oil of their life that pours out from head to toe overflows onto you. I love them because I recognize that I now carry an impartation of something that they carried. Something that the Lord gave them and something they still have even now.
Even when you ask for an impartation of something from the Lord, he doesn’t give you the same thing on another person’s life. Yes, he’ll give You the impartation, but he’ll give it to you in the way that you uniquely are meant and created to express and carry the gifting and anointing on your own life. Because there cannot be another C.S Lewis, and there cannot be another J.R.R. Tolkien. There’s only one of each. I love these men because over my 25 years of life, as I’ve gotten to know them through their writing; in conversations with the Lord. They’ve become like additional family members in my heart. Because to the Lord, That’s exactly what we are. And both of these men, many times when no one else was around, guided me back to the Bridegroom Jesus. I don’t say that lightly. So when I say I love and honor these men, I genuinely mean it.