Part of what attracts me to the writing of C.S. Lewis is the transparency with which he writes. He was a person of immense intellect, but also, immense emotion. He shared these emotions in his writings and prompted his readers to experience similar sentiments. His awe inspiring book, Til We Have Faces, was published in 1956. Towards the end of the book we read these words.
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.”
Lewis is expressing his own emotions through the longings of a character he has created for the story. He willingly shares his journey of discovery and the longing that is there in his soul. Perhaps this is what separates the poet from the ordinary person: a willingness to be vulnerable and express emotions, longings, joys, and embarrassments in their own words. In these particular words, Lewis shares that all of his life has been a quest for home and that he will never be truly home until he has left the place that has substituted for home.
I can relate that I have sensed such emotions as well. I have longed for something more than the experiences of this earth. I have recognized that there must be more. I suspect that this might be true for many others even if the sensation has not yet risen to the surface. We long for another place; a better place; a far away country. See if Lewis’ emotions stir similar emotions in you. Perhaps today is the day to set your eyes upon the far away country, to set your eyes upon hope.