Tolkien and Lewis lived through a time when, "all the horrors of all the ages were brought together." The Great War decimated a generation, robbing it of its finest young men, its leaders, its priests, its fathers, while leaving those who returned broken in body and mind.
How could God allow such suffering? How could there be a God at all? Generational cynicism fueled the appetite for Darwinism, Atheism, Communism, Feminism and all the other "isms" of doubt, the idols of the modern age.
Over pots of tea, the Inklings grappled with these questions and wove them into their epic fairy stories steeped in the truth about the way to redemption and salvation.
"There is no shortcut to the land of peace, no primrose path to the mansions of the blessed. First come tears and suffering in Mordor, heartless violence at Stable Hill, and horror and death at Golgotha." To preserve essential liberty, war is sometimes necessary.
Lewis and Tolkien believed that every life falls under the shadow and that adventure finds those who are quietly minding their own business. The adventure will test us beyond our limits and test our friendships. In the struggle, we become something more corrupt or more pure than we began. How does the heart respond to the roar of The Great Lion, the Son of the Emporer-beyond-the-sea?
"Is everything sad going to come untrue?' asks Sam[wise Gamgee]. Here we find, beyond all imagination, the deepest source of hope for the human story. For when the King is revealed, 'there will be no more night.' The Shadow will finally and forever be lifted from the earth. The Great War will be won.
This King, who brings strength and healing in His hands, will make everything sad come untrue."