The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing—to reach the mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from—.

C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

Published in 1955, one year before the death of his wife Joy Davidman, Till We Have Faces stands as Lewis’s most critically acclaimed novels. Lewis himself regarded it as his finest work of fiction. This particular quote is part of a conversation Psyche has with her older sister Orual the night before she is to be sacrificed to the Brute of the mountain. Psyche comforts the bereft Orual as she remains calm, held by a sense of calling to the mountain; even more, she tells Orual how she feels like she’s been groomed for this moment since she was a child. This line, in m opinion, is also autobiographical for Lewis, perhaps revealing to us the impetus for his literary and apologetic endeavor. 

Timothy Willard is the author of five books, including Longing For More: Daily Reflections on Finding God in the Rhythms of Life and the forthcoming The Life-Giving Adventure of Chasing Beauty (Eerdmans, 2019). 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. 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.