The boy asks Lewis "Do you believe in Heaven?"
Lewis answers, "Yes."
Douglas responds, "I don’t believe in Heaven."
Lewis answers, "That’s okay."
Douglas continues, "But I sure would like to see my mother again."
Lewis replies, "Me too," and, weeping, they fall into each other arms.
In my column I observed that Lewis’s own faith shone through and also his conviction that Douglas had the responsibility and should be allowed the freedom to work out his own faith himself.
"The rest of the story" was in this past week’s issue of People magazine. Douglas Gresham now lives in Ireland and is executor of Lewis’s literary estate. The article describes Gresham as an ardent Christian, but this became so only recently. He "submitted to Christ" three years ago at the age of 45.
We sometime fall victim to the thinking that becoming a Christian should happen at a particular age (12 or 13 seems to be commonly cited). We thus try to channel human beings and the Spirit into acting in a particular way at a particular time. We thus deny human freedom and the freedom of the Spirit. We forget Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus about being “born again” and his observation that the Spirit of God, like the wind, “blows where it wills.” There is no one right time to become a Christian. That’s up to the Spirit and the individual.
©C. David Hess