11 January, 2013

The Book... by Freya Morris

Continuing my occasional series of guest posts on life-changing books, Freya Morris tells us about...

 The Book... that shaped my faith.

Find it here on amazon!
Somewhere on the vast moors of my teen-hood, Dad handed me a book and said, ‘read it’. Now, this might seem  pretty normal to the average person, but we Morrises aren’t normal people. My dad has never told me to read a specific book - ever. He would talk about books, sure. He would maybe hand me one and say, ‘good read’. Or he’d tell us: ‘you lot don’t read enough’. But he has never, ever, ever, told me to read a single book.

Even though a teenager at the time, I was a Christian girl and wasn’t particularly rebellious… yet. The desire not to read it because he told me to never materialised, and quite casually, I read it: The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I didn’t expect it to have a fundamental impact on me for the rest of my life.

How it inspired my words:
The book is a fantasy, but there was more truth in that fantasy then in any non-fiction I’ve ever read. So it’s not a surprise that when I write, I find myself lingering into another world because reality more often than not seems unreal, too 2D. The 3D world lies beneath the skin, and to reveal that to the world we have to break out of the boundaries, our limitations.

How it inspired my life:
In only 150 pages, Lewis opened my eyes. It suddenly occurred to me that the things I struggled with in my faith were actually constructs of religion. The concept of Hell as we’ve come to know it didn’t fit with my relationship with God as love. Heaven and Hell was a human construct, not a godly one.

Lewis also opened my brain. Ever since reading this book, I’ve always questioned every concept, image, biblical word, or controversy ever to touch Christianity or my ethics. And because of Lewis, I was able to rebuild my faith around God, not religion. It took me on a difficult path, but it has built my belief on something so much stronger. Whether Jesus had a wife, was black, Asian or white, doesn’t really bother me. Lewis started me on a journey where no-one can shake my faith in the God of love.

That is why, when I have kids, I’ll be passing them only one book (probably the same tattered, falling apart version my dad gave me) and telling them: ‘Read it.’


Thanks, Freya. I was so excited to receive this post as I was given The Great Divorce for Christmas - I can't wait to read it now! His logical, humble faith makes C.S Lewis one of my heroes and I love his books - fiction, allegory and non-fiction.

Have you read any C.S. Lewis? Which is your favourite Narnia story or character? (I always loved Reepicheep!)

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Freya Morris is a writer, communications officer and true bibliophile, who lives with her husband in Bristol. She has several pieces of flash fiction and non-fiction out there in the published world and has recently finished writing a Middle Grade novel. Her blog is pretty ace too.

4 comments:

  1. I haven't read any CS Lewis, which is sad, because there are several I've wanted to read. I remember my parents having a couple CS Lewis books too, which I might have pilfered. :) I really should them.

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    1. Definitely! The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is practically compulsory for all kids to read here. He was such a great story-teller and when he became a Christian in his early-30s (very reluctantly - much like me!) wrote the most amazing, humble books. Mere Christianity is awesome.

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    2. Suzi - you should definitely read a Lewis. The Great Divorce is short and a great read.

      PS: I agree with Chloe - The LWW is COMPULSORY! :D

      My favourite characters are the beavers - they're so funny and silly! But my husband can't stand them.

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    3. But Maugrim is like your worst nightmare, right? I seem to remember we had that discussion - about how he's our ultimate villain - on your blog once.

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