Saturdays with C.S. Lewis: Letters to a Child

In his life, C.S. Lewis received thousands of letters from young fans who were eager for more knowledge of his bestselling Narnia books and their author. Here we get a glimpse of his fatherly words. Lewis writes to the children – as in the books he wrote for them – with understanding and respect, proving why he remains one of the best-loved children’s authors of all time.

One aspect of this particular letter that jumps out at me is the way in which Lewis guides the girl in her understanding of Jesus but allows room for her own spiritual discovery. Lewis is not feeding a prepackaged idea to this girl, but cultivating the soil for the Gospel to grow. He wants her to see the glories of Jesus with her own eyes! How great is that. Also, I love that fact that she sent him a bunch of drawings of the Narnian characters. This reminds me of my own 5 year old girl who draws pictures of all the things she loves.

Read these words of C.S. Lewis as he addresses a fan letter from a girl named Hila.

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Dear Hila:

Thank you so much for your lovely letter and pictures. I realized at once that the coloured one was not a particular scene but a sort of line-up like what you would have at the very end if it was a play instead of stories. The [Voyage of] “Dawn Treader” is not to be the last: There are to be 4 more, 7 in all. Didn’t you notice that Aslan said nothing about Eustace not going back? I thought the best of your pictures was the one of Mr. Tumnus at the bottom of the letter. As to Aslan’s other name, well I want you to guess. Has there never been anyone in this world who

  1. Arrived at the same time as Father Christmas.
  2. Said he was the son of the Great Emperor.
  3. Gave himself up for someone else’s fault to be jeered at and killed by wicked people.
  4. Came to life again.
  5. Is sometimes spoken of as a Lamb (see the end of the Dawn Treader).

Don’t you really know His name in this world. Think it over and let me know your answer!

Reepicheep in your coloured picture has just the right perky, cheeky expression. I love real mice. There are lots in my rooms in college but I have never set a trap. When I sit up late working they poke their heads out from behind the curtains just as if they were saying, “Hi! Time for you to go to bed. We want to come out and play.”

All good wishes,

Yours ever

C.S. Lewis

Letters to Children, June 3, 1953

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