I have never before written a fan letter. But the Blogging 101 assignment today was to write with someone in mind. This may not be what they had in mind, but I do think it still reaches out to my target audience as it is about reading and writing.
To Mr. Lewis,
It has been a long time since I first discovered your books. They were my introduction to the world of fantasy, the first books I wished I could stay in forever. I still remember coming to the end of The Last Battle and laughing with delight, doing a cartwheel across the living room. Yes, it made me cartwheel. I read that particular book over and over, finding myself quoting along with Lucy to repel Tash as he stood in the barn glaring down at Tirian.
And I just want to thank you. Thank you so much for setting out the story of Narnia for the world to see. I hear it all started with a picture of a faun with an umbrella – and Tumnus remains an iconic figure of Narnia, representative of all the brave creatures we can encounter there. The world would be much poorer has Tumnus never encountered Lucy in that snowy wood.
I would be very different. For when did I first learn that a story can be more than idle amusement, if not when I read the Chronicles of Narnia? It was Lucy who taught me faith, she who always trusted Aslan, and who knew Him well enough to see Him when nobody else could. Do I have the integrity of Tirian, to confess my sins, and to stand strong for what is right, until the bitter end? Am I as brave as Peter, to follow even when I know nothing of how to begin? And how better to understand redemption and unconditional love than through Edmund’s eyes? In Edmund our own selfishness and temptations are brought to light, and when he is saved we too feel the price of our rescue. How profound, how terrible and yet wonderful was it for me, as a child, to see this comparison for the first time!
Just last night, my sister and I sat down to a new experience of an old story. We put on the Focus on the Family Radio Play of the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and listened to it straight through, for two and a half hours. All these things came rushing back to me as I listened. When Beaver first told of Aslan, a thrill of hope and light shot through me. When Aslan revealed Himself, alive again, to Susan and Lucy at the Stone Table, I got a feeling like a building, laughing roar, the kind I imagine Aslan gave as the girls chased Him around the table. Your friend Tolkien speaks of the word eucatastrophe, and I think the ones in your books are some of the best ever (if we don’t include their real life counterparts, obviously).
While we’re here, I would like to express my admiration and appreciation of your other works as well. Mere Christianity, which I read this past year, gives such a clear picture of things that I before struggled to explain. Screwtape forces us to consider the war we are in. The Space Trilogy, which I have not yet finished, intrigues me and I look forward to reading more of it.
Mr Lewis, you cannot know what an impact you have had on me as a writer myself. You have challenged me to know the Truth, and to ensure that in everything I do I reflect it well. I am sure that my writing will not do half so well as yours, but I can at least do well by the small gifts that are given me.
So, thank you, so very much.
P.S. I would like to know what happened to Susan, in the end.