My family had the privilege of visiting Oxford, England, and seeing the home where C.S. Lewis spent the latter years of his life, called The Kilns. As we listened to some delightful stories of Lewis’ life, what stood out to me was his humility.
The tour guide at The Kilns mentioned that while most photographs of Lewis show him in a suit and tie, looking very distinguished, he actually preferred to wear baggy trousers and an old hat, because he didn’t want to stand out.
We visited the little country church where Lewis attended with his brother–it is small and unknown, except for the fact that C.S. Lewis attended there…just an ordinary parish church. In fact, we were told that Lewis would arrive late to church and leave early, to keep from calling attention to himself. It is at this same tiny parish church that Lewis is buried, with a simple gravestone off in the corner of the graveyard–not pretentious in the least.
Not only did Lewis write the famed Chronicles of Narnia as children’s books (in a time where writing children’s literature was not a prestigious thing for an Oxford professor to do), but he also wrote numerous personal letters to children who had questions about life or about the stories. Despite his great learning and commanding voice, he played well with children and enjoyed their company.
In these ways, and many more, the picture of Lewis that emerged as we listened to the stories about his life was that of an ordinary man, not looking to be a hero, but simply to be faithful with what he was given. And God in His mercy chose to use this ordinary chap very profoundly, in the lives of many people around the world, including my own rather ordinary life. I am thankful!