The discovery of a personal letter of C. S. Lewis is getting some attention. It was found inside a secondhand book. In the letter, Lewis opines on the subject of joy.
What I find most surprising about this news is that it is expected that the letter will fetch well over a thousand pounds at auction. Why my surprise? There are a great many letters extant from C. S. Lewis, many of which are published (and which I must start reading someday for their insights and his masterful counsel). He was a prolific letter writer indeed.
As documented by Lyle Dorsett’s Seeking the Secret Place, Lewis committed himself to answering virtually all incoming mail. He felt it an important calling, and with all the mail he received, it was a laborious and often taxing one. And these were not perfunctory letters that he wrote, at least not for the most part. With some, he regularly gave counsel to help people through their troubles.
Having wrestled with studies at Oxford, I cannot imagine how he could have fulfilled all his academic and other duties and then thoughtfully answer mail as he did. The man surely had more endurance than I do.
Not just the recipients, but us today as well are blessed with his labor and wisdom in so generously fulfilling what he as saw as his Christian calling to answer mail.
And, really, one cannot put a price on that.