POST: 'C.S.Lewis: The Reluctant Convert' - dude just put into beautifully poetic words what I’ve been trying to explain to my family
What's it about?
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." - C.S. Lewis
Back to visit the Lord.
Well, sort of.
What I experienced?
I, like many, was a member of the dozing-off-on-the-church-bench club on those early Sunday mornings. Just picture the most reluctant 7 year old being tugged through the church door, half open eyes, and probably in the most uncomfortable skirt. Ugh. Amen to mum not forcing me to go once she realized that the bible readings were just making me ask too many philosophical questions she was sick of answering.
Although the memories aren’t all the most joyous, I am honest enough to admit that it’s not the church that’s all that bad. I think it was the whole “God does everything”, that really caused the breakup with me and the church. I assumed when the priest said that God did everything, he meant EVERYTHING. The car crash on the corner of Starr St. = God. Baby born with aids in Africa = God. Someone got cancer = God. Homeless people = God. The (useless) existence of insects, especially mosquitoes = God.
To be fair, I think that pessimistic thought process was impressive for a 7 year old. Not the thoughts that Sunday school was aiming for, but hey. God does everything. I’m not hating on the concept of God, since it’s the one thing that I actually do believe in. But it’s the perfection in which he’s advertised that always made church iffy for me. Even that early on, I knew that the things being asked of me to be considered a good person were unattainable. That, and the craziness that is the world’s best selling book - The Bible.
So, why put myself through a show about a religious conversion? Because I’m a masochist.
I kid, or maybe I’m onto something.
I like being questioned and challenged and that’s exactly why I appreciate the existence of religion. As great as science is, it doesn’t always solidly answer things and so that leaves room for stuff like this show. What I appreciate the most about this (and the Fellowship for the Performing Arts shows, in general) is that they don’t do what church did to me for years. Being told I’ll go to hell for liking something I shouldn’t like, or being told I'll go to hell for not following the hypocritical ideals of the church isn’t really the way to convince me to join your cul- I mean church. But this show was a great example of a real person, like C.S.Lewis, talking about something as conflicting as faith.
C.S. Lewis was a British novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, and a reluctant Christian. This being a one man show made for a really intimate recall of the shittiness that was his childhood and then how un-shitty it eventually got. Those popular daddy issues have a big role in his life, as well as the unfortunate loss of his mother at the age of 9. It’s clear to me that he had a lot of psychological wounds from the loss of his parents. His father was a lawyer and that’s really all he was, he wasn’t much of a father to young C.S. Lewis. He was actually shipped off to a tutor in the countryside by his father, so the feeling of being a burden wasn’t unknown to him from a very young age.
It wasn’t weird at all to see why 5 years after his mother’s death, he stopped believing in God. Fortunately, I don’t know what the loss of a mother is like. But, I can only imagine the amount of anger he must have felt and, not to pat myself on the back, but I wouldn’t doubt he went through a similar “God does everything” epiphany like I had. More specifically, he says that the biggest issue he had was the imminent ownership that an invisible being would have over him. He says something along the lines of “I don't want to be interfered with” and wanting to call his soul his own, not some product of some guy that lived long ago named Jesus. As soon as he said that, I straightened up in my seat - dude just put into beautifully poetic words what I’ve been trying to explain to my family who thinks my reluctance over religion is just me being an asshole.
It’s really the most comforting one-sided conversation I’ve ever been a part of, because C.S. Lewis makes note that a connection between science and faith shouldn’t have the tension it shares back then and today. They are two in the same, it’s really just a case of which one works for you.
Want to see it?
Sorry, this show is not currently showing :(
What did you experience?
Let PXP know in the comments below...