Admirers of C.S. Lewis from both Erskine and the larger community gathered in Memorial Hall on the Erskine College campus Thursday evening for “My Memories of Jack,” an address by Douglas Gresham, stepson of the famed scholar and author.
Lewis was married to Joy Davidman, mother of Gresham and his brother David, and Davidman died in 1960 after a difficult bout with cancer. Gresham’s remarks, followed by an extended question-and-answer session, were based on his experience of growing up with C.S. Lewis, whom he knew as “Jack.”
When Gresham struggled during his mother’s illness and after her death, “It was really Jack who set me straight,” he said. He described Lewis as “immensely generous to many, many people,” including students and others to whom he provided financial assistance anonymously.
He said that he learned from his stepfather that what we earn is not for us, to make us feel fulfilled, but is to enable us to help other people. “It’s not how many people love you, but the people you love,” he said. “It matters how many people you love and serve.”
Asked about his own conversion to Christianity, Gresham cited a pivotal moment at age 45, when, he said, “I realized I was broken” while trying to help someone else. This led eventually to his “turning my life over to Christ.”
Gresham, a stage and voice-over actor, biographer, film producer, and executive record producer, lives in Malta with his wife Merrie, and is in the United States to promote the first live stage production in North America of The Horse and His Boy, which premiered March 1 at the Logos Theatre in Taylors, S.C.
The Horse and His Boy is the fifth in Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia series, and was dedicated to Gresham and his elder brother.