Close this search box.


This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Read my affiliate policy here

Thank you, Screwtape, for delivering my soul. You meant to damn, but here I stand.

Clives Staples Lewis took up the devil’s pen in the 1940’s. In a compilation of fictional notes entitled The Screwtape Letters, Lewis adopted the perspective of a senior devil (Screwtape) writing to his junior (Wormwood). I opened the book as a freshman in college, and initially I was confused: Good was bad and bad was good; God was now “the Enemy.” The irony was thick but refreshing. Scriptures excepted, the book chastised my soul more than any other piece of literature.

I read the book again recently, with similar response.

In the preface of The Screwtape Letters, CS Lewis hints that we all might learn the language of devils. Not that he admonishes it. He simply declines to offer how the letters fell into his hands, and explains that “The sort of script which is used in this book can be very easily obtained by anyone who has once learned the knack.”

This year, I learned “the knack.” I was driven to it by necessity, and by revelation. I found myself constantly engaging in mental battle. My thoughts were ugly, disorganized, distracting, and laden with unwanted appetites. I didn’t know what to do. I could have visited a therapist, but instead I felt prompted to write. I remembered the Screwtape Letters, and took up the devil’s pen.

On my worst days, I received the best revelations. The creative endeavor of capturing Screwtape’s words took the edge off my own sins and left me free to explore the exploits of my inner demons. I could see their deceptions! The devils who afflicted me by day felt petty and sized-down when bound to pages of my notebook each night.

Screwtaping enabled me to acknowledge the temptations of hell whilst clinging to true tokens of heaven. It was epistolary exorcism.

* * *

I’m including a few letters here. They are rough drafts, but they are honest. If you can look past the flaws, they might have even a ring of familiarity.

* I am not the first to imitate C.S. Lewis. For a more sophisticated take on devilish doings, check out philosopher Peter Kreeft’s Snakebite Letters

Know someone who would like this post?
Please share it!

Jenny Harris
Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she’s crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family’s goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.

Let’s connect!

Keep Reading

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Psst! Want all the best memory keeping secrets?

Join the VIP club to get a once-a-month newsletter full of resources, exclusive offers, and fun surprises. Also, no spam, because eww.

Looking for Our Prosaic Life?

Don’t worry, you’re in the right spot! Our Prosaic Life has merged with Jest Kept Secret. We’re excited to bring you lots more of the content you know and love!

Personally, we're big fans of good ol' chocolate chip, but we do use digital cookies to improve your experience with Jest Kept Secret and help the website function smoothly. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our privacy policy.