I like C.S. Lewis a lot, and to be honest, it’s only partly because of his work.
Now don’t get me wrong, the dude penned some amazing pieces, both fiction and non, which have helped millions of people understand the complexities of Christianity. That’s a big deal. I mean anytime a person can take something extremely complex and simplify it enough to make it understood by someone like me, that’s a freaking milestone.
But what I really like about Lewis is that he seems to have been a real dude with real problems. I recently read a piece by CNN’s John Blake that highlights this.
The article talks about Lewis image — how they rarely found him dressed up without a pint or cigarette, along with some odd sexual stuff — as well as struggles with money and problems with self doubt.
I love this.
Not that he had problems or lived a complicated life. I wouldn’t wish that on him, or anyone for that matter, but I love the raw, honest look at a man who voiced so many of God’s truths.
In a weird way, I love that he appears kind of screwed up, because I’m kind of — OK maybe more than kind of — screwed up. He appears to have been a mess and Lord knows at times I’m a walking sinful disaster.
It’s a dangerous thing to be that open and honest, especially when you’re ballsy enough to launch a blog dedicated to attempts at explaining God and giving advice on life. It’s dangerous to admit you’re very much unholy when you’re handling the most holy of topics. It’s a fearful debacle that causes a crap ton of stress and anxiety. I have no doubt Lewis wrestled with this every day.
But talking about Jesus, the Bible, and life, aren’t the same as being a cook in some fancy restaurant. In this situation, just because the chef’s hands are forever dirty, doesn’t necessary hinder the purity of the meal being delivered. In fact, sometimes I think it makes it more digestible.
Sometimes I think (and hope) the most broken of people do the best job communicating the truth because they’ve so often experienced living the falsehood.
Now I’m not saying it doesn’t matter how a person lives, it does. I’m just saying that just because a person is flawed doesn’t necessary make their message flawed.
We’re a lot like road signs in this sense. It doesn’t matter if a sign on the highway is beat up, leaning over, and covered in bird crap, so long as it points you in the right direction.
I think that’s kind of what Lewis was, a beat up dude with issues and struggles, but who despite this, made it his mission to point folks in the right direction.
No matter how much bird crap we find ourselves covered in, we should aim to do the same.