One day I was doing the usual care-taking around The Kilns, when I heard the service-entry door buzzer. I opened the door to see who was there and met two men. The younger fellow, speaking on behalf of the old man with him, asked if they might see the house. The reason for their request was that the older man had visited the house when he was a boy, and wanted to see it again.
I was, of course, happy for him to do so. We looked around a bit and chatted. I learned that the older gentleman had visited the house back in the 1940’s when his mother, who was a nurse, would visit to help care for Mrs. Moore. His name was John Piper. When we entered the room commonly called “the music room,” Mr. Piper proceeded to tell me a story.
In those days, there were a good number of chickens about the house – Mrs. Moore’s hens. When John’s mother would visit, he was allowed to play outside, with the expectation that he would behave himself. Well, he was a young boy, after all, so we would not be surprised to learn that he gave into the temptation to chase the hens about the yard.
His mother caught him chasing the hens and reminded him that he was supposed to leave the hens alone. She told him that she would have to take him to face The Professor. I suspect the mother thought that a stern word from him would help John to leave the hens alone.
Well! Poor little John was lead into the music room to see The Professor. He remembered Maureen’s piano standing against the west wall of the room (to the left as you enter). John told me that he stood in the room, with his back to the piano, while Mr. Lewis gave him a very “military style” lecture about not chasing the hens in the yard. Much subdued, John left with his mother.
It is interesting that Lewis hearkened back to his military experience to admonish the boy. I cannot help but think that he was probably chuckling once John was gone. Boys will be boys!
God bless John Piper.
Please note that the content and viewpoints of Rev. Beckmann are his own and are not necessarily those of the C.S. Lewis Foundation. We have not edited his writing in any substantial way and have permission from him to post his content.
The Rev. David Beckmann has for many years been involved in both the Church and education. He helped to start a Christian school in South Carolina, tutored homeschoolers, and has been adjunct faculty for both Covenant College and the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. He founded the C.S. Lewis Society of Chattanooga in 2005. He has spoken extensively on C.S Lewis, and was the Director of the C.S Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns from 2014-2015. He is currently a Regional Representative for the C.S. Lewis Foundation in Chattanooga.