Dear Mr. Lewis,
I’m writing you while I have a few moments at a local coffee shop before I meet with a couple of recent guests who have visited Tapestry, the church I lead, on a few Sunday nights. I’ve been meaning to write you for quite some time. Not sure why I haven’t before. I guess it seems somewhat odd to write a dead man, even though I am sure you are more alive now than you ever were before. It is just that I wonder what you would think of what I have done and continue to do with your thought and writing. I really wish I knew the real you rather than just the you that I interpret from your writings. Your thoughts have influenced me more than anyone outside of the Holy Spirit through scripture. Your words flow from my mouth more than most people realize. I wish I had been able to get to know you enough that actually call you “Jack”.
Anyhow here’s my quick question before I have to stop writing – why is it that the people who talk the most about being certain of their faith seem to do the least amazing acts of faith while the people who seem to do the most amazing acts of faith often express doubts? Am I wrong in this? It seems to be true from my personal experience but I realize my experience doesn’t really count as the way things really are. I think of your character Ransom from the Space Triology. Ransom was amazingly intelligent yet often seems not to know what is exactly going on in regard to his faith or what his faith is pushing him to do. When he ultimately fights Weston/Satan he still doesn’t seem exactly sure of what he is supposed to do, he just acts in faith. I know it is a fictional story but it tells a story that I have heard many times in reality.
Mr. Lewis people who express how certain they are usually bore me. I am most impressed and inspired by those who have doubts and fears and still act in faith. Is this because of Søren Kierkegaard‘s “leap to faith?” Do these great acts of faith usually come from someone leaping to faith as a result of their uncertainty? Is there any faith without the leap? Seems like you are saying this in The Screwtape Letters when you have Screwtape write to his nephew:
Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.
Makes me wonder if most of the great heroes of the Christian faith would describe themselves as having acted out of certainty or in midst of doubt and questions.
Thanks for being there for me to write to Mr. Lewis. I look forward to actually meeting you one day.