“At the very least, they (man) can be persuaded that the bodily position makes no difference to their prayers; for they constantly forget, what you must always remember, that they are animals and that whatever their bodies do affects their souls. It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things in their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.” C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Letter #4
Two weeks ago, I pulled out the final box. Nearly eighteen months in our home and this one box sat in the office closet, taunting me with the unpacked contents. I lifted each item from inside the brown cardboard and carefully decided whether to keep or purge. As I pulled out the final photo album, I looked down to see a single, red book.
It was thin and hard bound, the binding worn just slightly. As I picked it up, I inhaled deep the smell of history. I don’t ever remember seeing this book and as I turned to see what treasure I had just uncovered, I drew in a sharp breath.
The Screwtape Letters. C. S. Lewis.
I sat down in my plush yellow chair and slowly opened the book. It smelled musty and worn. The pages were crisp and yellowed. Opening the cover, I noticed the inscription:
On this Mother’s Day – with love
Purchased and gifted with love in 1946 by a man who wanted to give his mother something special on Mother’s Day. I ran my fingers over each page and wondered what stories this book held. Bought at the end of the World War II, a subject and piece of history that consumes most of my days right now as I finish my novel, this particular copy has a story.
A story for Mother.