First, let me say that I’m almost positive that Mr. Clive Staples Lewis would share my complete and utter disdain for the pony known as Pinkie Pie.
See? Not exactly the picture of quiet British dignity. This character from the kids’ TV show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, is a different level of obnoxious, the kind that makes me wonder if I’d punch a cute, hyperactive pink pony. (I probably would.)
But I digress.
(By the way, if you are really confused right now about why it’s acceptable for someone my age to be talking about My Little Pony, read about the MLP phenomenon here.)
To be honest, I have no idea what C. S. Lewis would think of the tone and sense of humor of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I tend to think he would have found it amusing, but it’s possible I’m wrong and he would smirk at it in an understated disapproval.
I do know what C. S. Lewis thought about friendship, though. In his book, The Four Loves, one section is devoted to friendship, something Lewis valued very highly. You’ve probably encountered a number of quotes from this chapter before (notable because, unlike many sayings attributed to him, C. S. Lewis actually said them).
But, though too long to put on a meme, this was one of my favorite thoughts found in that chapter. Here, Lewis contrasts friendship with romantic love:
Half the love songs and half the love poems in the world will tell you that the Beloved is your fate or destiny, no more your choice than a thunderbolt, for “it is not in our power to love or hate.” Cupid’s archery, genes anything but ourselves.
But in Friendship, being free of all that, we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting any of these chances might have kept us apart.
But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances.
See, there it is. Friendship is magic.
Yes, I realize that Lewis is talking about God bringing friends together. But C. S. Lewis also had a very high view of children’s fairy tales as a Christian way of interpreting the world.
To him, and to other members of his circle, describing the way God works as “magic” was significantly more accurate than trying to mechanize it into the rationalism becoming popular in his time. To say that “friendship is magic” is really just saying that there is more to it than the predictable laws and logic that control most aspects of our lives.
I sometimes take friendship for granted. It’s just a thing that’s passively there when I need it, like gravity or indoor plumbing or the extremely efficient rumor mill created by Facebook. Both C. S. Lewis and a cartoon show with magical, colorful ponies remind me that having a friend is a very special thing.
Stop and think about the people closest to you, about how you met, and about how you might not have been friends if things had been just a little bit different. And be thankful.