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Actor David Morse Reveals The C.S. Lewis Story That Helped Him Through a ‘Turbulent Time’

The Outsiders

Actor David Morse Reveals The C.S. Lewis Story That Helped Him Through a ‘Turbulent Time’

By Movieguide® Contributor

Actor David Morse recently revealed which C.S. Lewis story changed his life and brought him back to his faith during a “turbulent time” in his life. 

“I was confirmed in the Episcopal church in my teens. But when I first came to New York, in 1977, I was very much at odds with faith and the church,” the actor shared. “My consciousness was changing and I had a fury at institutions.”

So, what brought the HURT LOCKER actor back to his faith?

“It was at that point that I read C.S. Lewis’s ‘Surprised by Joy,’” the actor said. “His story about his own struggles with faith helped me through a particularly turbulent time.

“I read [‘Surprised by Joy’] around the same time I read ‘Crime and Punishment,” Morse continued. “I had read Lewis’ Narnia books and loved his writing. ‘Surprised by Joy’ is his account of moving from being an atheist to someone who believes. His sudden experiences of longing, what he called joy, were something I recognized in my own life.”

Morse’s reconnection with his faith has helped him navigate his impressive acting career, including parts in blockbuster movies like THE GREEN MILE, CONTACT and THE ROCK. 

Morse isn’t the only one who can count Lewis as inspiration for faith affirmation.

Movieguide® previously reported:

For Marine veteran and pastor Jeremiah Braudrick, spiritual warfare made him doubt God and label himself as a “spiritual failure” for much of his adult life.

“For much of my life, I have assumed that I was a spiritual failure,” Braudrick wrote in March 2021. “How can that be? I’m a pastor. A father. A Marine veteran. I run a ministry that provides church services to inmates in Oklahoma prisons. I do my best to make God real to people desperate for something to believe in. How could a spiritual failure do all that?”

However, Braudrick revealed that his feeling of shame, guilt, and failure started before entering into ministry.

“Wind back the clock 12 years. I was transitioning to civilian life after eight years of military service, including combat duty in Afghanistan. My marriage was falling apart. I’d pretty much abandoned my faith during my time in the service. I suffered from depression. I was convinced God saw me as a worthless failure, and I agreed,” Braudrick confessed.

God was still watching over Braudrick, even as he wrestled with his faith. The start of an answer to Braudrick’s questions finally came in the form of a Facebook post.

“You know what pulled me out of all that? A quote I saw on Facebook. It was one of those random inspirational quotes people post. It read: ‘I have found (to my regret) that the degrees of shame and disgust which I actually feel at my own sins do not at all correspond to what my reason tells me about their comparative gravity,’” Braudrick said. “The language was complicated and formal, like something an Oxford don would write. I heard a simple message: Maybe my feelings of spiritual worthlessness weren’t the final word about me. Maybe I wasn’t the best judge of God’s attitude.”

He added: “Maybe I had a chance after all.”

Braudrick said he was surprised to find out that the quote’s author had also written some of his favorite childhood books, the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA by C.S. Lewis.

“Was that the same C. S. Lewis who wrote the Chronicles of Narnia books I’d read as a child? Was he a Christian? It was like he knew exactly what I felt and exactly what I needed to hear,” Braudick said, asking the question: “Who was this guy?”

“Answering that question changed my life. Along the way, I learned something about C. S. Lewis—a military veteran like me—that strengthened my reawakening faith,” he added.

One thing that stood out to Bruadrick from Lewis’s writing was his ability to sympathize with veterans.

“More than a century after his birth, in 1898, he remains beloved by millions. I encourage readers with a military background to give him a try,” Braudrick said. “Lewis was raised in a church-going Irish family but began to question his faith during his teens. At age 19, he was sent by the British Army to the front lines of World War I and fought as an infantryman in the hideous trenches. He was wounded by shellfire and returned home a committed atheist. More than a decade passed after his military service before he rediscovered his faith.

“Lewis knew the psychic wounds soldiers carry. He also knew how God can redeem all of that,” he added. “Thanks to Lewis, I now know too.”