I Met C. S. Lewis's Step-Son
This morning I met C. S. Lewis's step-son. It happened like this. A few minutes after nine o'clock, I entered the green room to prepare for my interview with Chuck and Jenni Borsellino on At Home--Live!. A distinguished looking gentlemen with a neatly trimmed white mustache and beard sat on the coach chatting with Chuck and Jenni. He shook my hand, said his name, but I didn't get the connection until later. Turns out he is Douglas Gresham,. the step-son of C. S. Lewis. He was in town because he is in the co-producer of the upcoming movie, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He has also written a new biography of his step-father called Jack's Life: A Memory of C. S. Lewis. During our brief chat, Gresham said he was on the tail end of a lengthy publicity tour connected with the movie. In a few days he will address the House of Lords in London at their invitation. When I asked what he was going to say, he laughed and said he had no idea. "I rely on the Holy Spirit. That's a lot easier than preparing a speech." He loves the new movie because it catches the spirit of Lewis's writing even beyond his own high expectations.
While we sat and watched the first part of the program, he leaned over and chatted me up about this and that, including the fact that he and his wife hope to move from Ireland to Malta. Upon hearing that I was going to talk about forgiveness, he said that the lack of forgiveness explains why the world is so bad off. "It's the source of all our problems." He proceeded to tell me a slightly bawdy story, which I won't recount here, but it effectively made the point, and I am sure his step-father would have gotten a good laugh out of it. During his interview, he said that Lewis loved to laugh because he knew he was a sinner and that he had been saved by grace. Gresham was genial, relaxed, distinguished, well-spoken, friendly, and he exuded a kind of gracious self-confidence. I was left thinking that his step-father must have shared many of those traits.
My interview followed immediately after his. During my segment I got thirsty and ended up drinking water out of the cup he left on the table. It's as close as I'll ever get to C. S. Lewis.