A Beautiful Invitation

In 2013 my wife and I sold our Atlanta home, our two cars, and moved our three young daughters to Oxford, England. We didn’t willy-nilly up and move. I was accepted into a PhD program to study theology. But that sounds boring. My topic, however, is anything but. I am looking at beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis.

Oxford is a revelation. I cannot quite explain the solemnity that settles in this place. I once found myself walking across Tom Quad, of Christ Church, beneath a canopy of stars. The salt-speckled violet backdrop cast the iconic Tower into a surreal frame of glowing angles punctuated by a soaring dome. Is this the view that burrowed into the mind of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) and produced such beautiful nonsense?

I was caught, like Lucy sneaking into a wardrobe unprepared for the world beyond. ... 


Timothy Willard is the author of three books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life. He has collaborated on over 20 books and has written, consulted and served as spiritual director for organizations such as Chick-fil-A, Catalyst, Q Ideas and Praxis Labs. He lived in Oxford, England for two years studying beauty in the works of C.S. Lewis. He earned his PhD in Theology under the supervision of world-renowned theologian Alister McGrath. When he’s not riding the trails in the Appalachian mountains you can find him by the fire with his three daughters and his wife making up stories about Tom the back yard badger. He lives somewhere in the south Charlotte woods.