In a world where famous people are interviewed on every major television channel, and their faces are plastered on the front of multiple magazine covers, there remains a mystique about them. It’s as if they are unreal — and somehow it causes us who stand outside looking in at their lives, to crave insight into the inner workings of theirs.
So, when walking in Oxford, UK, our British friends pointed out The Eagle and Child, fondly nicknamed The Bird and Baby and told us it was the pub where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis met and discussed their ideas and writings, I instantly began picturing their times together inside the pub. I imagined them seated together, sharing their outside-the-box ideas, while the people around them had no hint of the far-reaching destiny these two men would have through their writings.
I envisioned the two of them talking quietly at a table away from the rest of the crowd because these moments were treasured times together. Kindred spirits unveiling their hearts, encouraging each other in their endeavors, and perhaps enthusiastically reading each others manuscripts. I later learned they gathered with a group of writers called the Inklings, to discuss their writing ideas together. (So much for the table away from the crowd.)
It was then I wished someone had interviewed them or snapped a picture of them there in the pub. Because of their writings (and now their screen plays), part of me felt as if I knew a part of them and caused me to want to know more. I longed to talk to them now and ask them what they talked about when they met. Or what it meant to have each other and if it changed the way they thought or the confidence it took to put on paper their imaginary worlds portraying powerful dynamic truths.
While pondering this my mind flashed back to when our new English friends, Geoff and Mary sat with Don and me in a coffee shop in Whitney, UK and our hearts knit together as we talked for hours about our shared passions. It was then I answered my own questions. . . When Tolkien and Lewis met at the local pub, they were simply people like us, on a journey with God. And along the way, they found friends who understood their hearts, cheered them on as they took brave, new steps and celebrated with them in whatever their yet-to-be-seen-futures held.
So — when seeking to know the inner lives of those people we deem unreal, perhaps we need only look at our own journey, and upon reflection we will probably find the answers to the questions we are asking!