Cumberland County News

Pastor’s Paragraph

Wednesday, August 2, 2000

"Footprints Of An Old Friend"

An old proverb says that "Some people come into our lives and quickly go, but others stay awhile and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same." Has that ever happened to you? Well, as a college student I was facing some serious doubts about my faith and a friend suggested that I  read a book called Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Who would have thought that that advice, given some thirty-seven years ago, would have left such an indelible influence upon my life? Second only to the New Testament, Lewis’ works and life have touched my life, and, as a result, have helped direct me to a closer walk with Jesus Christ. Plus, as some of you know, I have just returned from visiting many of the places in Great Britain where Lewis actually lived and taught - Belfast, Malvern, Oxford, Cambridge and London.

On my trip I rediscovered that C.S. Lewis was a great author who taught English literature in standing-room-only lecture halls at both Oxford and Cambridge University. But he was also a great man. His great intellect did not stop him from being a great friend to others. Nor did it stop him from being a great patriot during two world wars. But most important of all, he was a great Christian. Someone who knew Lewis described him as "the most thoroughly converted man I ever met." Someone else noted that "he may have influenced more people for the cause of Jesus Christ and his church than perhaps anyone in this century."

What is it in his Christian life that has most helped me be drawn closer to Christ? Like all of us, his feet were made of clay and he had many faults. But, in spite of his flaws, what impresses me the most about Lewis is his integrity, not only in his writing, but also in his devotional life, his financial stewardship and his thinking. He was the same person at work and at home and among his friends as he was at church. He not only wrote about and talked about his faith, he lived it unashamedly before others. Often called an "apostle to the skeptics," Lewis took to heart the scripture found in 1 Peter 3:15: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”

Yes, the footprints of C.S. Lewis have been left on my heart, and my life has never been the same. But ultimately not because he has pointed to himself, but because he has pointed us to the Christ who loves us and has come to die for us that we might become a child of God, that we might experience the joy of heaven, that we, too, might become the "Mere Christians" that Lewis wrote about. Today, you may know very little or care very little about C.S. Lewis, but I do invite you to consider the Christ who changed C.S. Lewis's life, who gave him courage to witness for his faith and to live with integrity wherever he worked and among all with whom he lived. May our own footprints so touch others that they also will be inspired to a deeper commitment to Christ.

 

Richard James

Burkesville Christian Church

  

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Last Updated: Sunday, September 02, 2001