I want to dedicate the next few posts to guest writers who have written about how George MacDonald has affected their lives.
This writing comes from Justin Wiggins. Go check him out on Facebook
The Impact of C.S.Lewis and George MacDonald On My Life
by Justin Wiggins
C.S.Lewis was the first one who led me to George MacDonald. I still remember vividly reading through Lewis’“Surprised by Joy” and coming across MacDonald’s name. Who was this Christian writer that had such an immense impact on the Oxford pipe smoking Christian apologist and thinker? I discovered a very fascinating and amazing individual when I began to read the writings of George Macdonald. I saw parallels between “The Princess and The Goblin” and the Narnia stories, and was very moved by the powerfully imaginative “Phantastes” and “Lilith.” From that point on I read through his other fairy tales like “The Golden Key,” “The Light Princess” and re-read them, like I did Lewis’ books.C.S.Lewis was my first introduction into the world of literature through reading The Chronicles of Narnia, and it was from that point on that I started to think more critically, saw the value of language in a way that I had never had before, was given a love for myths and fairy tales, and began to really be interested in Christian theology and apologetics, and it’s role in the life of a believer. I loved “Mere Christianity” and read his other apologetic works, along with his fiction and his very brilliant essays on literature that is still hard for me to understand. I grew in my faith like never before and loved it. I had answers to theological, historical, and existential questions I had for years, and it was liberating! And though there were still some very difficult things that I went through like we all do, the writings of MacDonald and Lewis were always there to encourage me, challenge me, delight me, and remind me of just how much Christ Loves me. As any reader does with his favourite writers, I read some really wonderful biographical things on the life of Lewis and MacDonald and only marvelled all the more because they really lived out their beliefs, and therefore had a more personal impact on my life. I loved learning that most of C.S.Lewis’ money during his lifetime went to people that really needed help that was managed by his friend Owen Barfield, that he took the time to answer his letters written to him when his writings were becoming popular, that he took in children at the Kilns when WWII was going on. I loved learning about George MacDonald that he tutored women at a time when them getting an education was looked down upon, that he helped the poor, and as a preacher he really sought to help people in their walk with Christ, and that through his novels and fairy tales and other fantasy works he sought to teach the Christian virtues of faith, hope and Love that he believed in passionately. What George MacDonald has most helped me with is the delight in obedience towards the will of God, the tenderness of God and the Love that flows from His Heart. I am in a very interesting and new chapter in my life right now, and it’s a comfort to me to know that if I am obedient to the will of Father, then He will guide me and provide for me: He is the author of my life and is guiding me. Just this afternoon on a walk I was overwhelmed with the Love of Christ, and marvelling at all the beauty around me,and came across this passage from George MacDonald’s first written worked called “Within and Without” that really resonated with me, “It is a law with us that no one shall sing a song who cannot be the hero of his tale—who cannot live the song he sings..” I really resonate with that because recently I have been struggling with a lot of fear and depression, and everything looked bleak, but that quote was a reminder that I don’t have to fear, and that Christ is guiding me as he is writing my story, and I have peace and joy now embarking on this new quest, this new chapter of my life. And I am choosing to sing the song of my tale.