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Atheist or A Theist?

-Laurie Benson 2021

Inspired by The New C.S. Lewis Movie in Theaters Now

We have our doubting Thomas,

The Prodigal son, and

The Reluctant Convert, C.S. Lewis,

who says that,

“The hardness of God is kinder than

the softness of men and His

compulsion is our liberation."

I don’t pretend to know what

"His compulsion is our liberation" means,

but it sounds big.

Big enough to contain all

the doubts, worries, sorrows,

the giving up and giving in that

each day brings.

It sounds like hope, for all of us. 

"Kinder than the softness of men?" 

More kind than a mother

stroking the downy sweet

cheek of her newborn?

Kinder than praying for

the rescue team and ambulances 

trying to get there to

clean up wreckage on the

freeway from a terrible

accident.  Sending love

because there is nothing

else to do but stare.

This compulsion to 

pray gives me liberation.

On a fateful Sunday.

A Bishop told me once that

the Lord wasn’t worried about

Laurie Benson.  God is that big, he 

is that liberating.  He is that persistent,

with reluctant converts, like me. 

When I realized

the movie was really resonating

with me in so many ways,

I realized that this man, C.S. Lewis

knew how to write just for me.

He speaks my language, he opens

my mind and clears my heart.

Perhaps, God helped him do that,

for me, for him, for you, for

his friends, and mine.

Converting reluctantly

and without ease of being

accepted. He said he was

A “Theist,” not an Atheist.  The

A is removed from the word

Because, “The,” means the

one true living Christ for


Mere Christianity.

I’ll try to be more, “The,” as

I go about my week.  Turning 

toward the light, things that bring

joy and patience.  After all,

it is Mere Christianity.