As a young child, Lewis’s mother got cancer and died a slow painful death. He prayed to God (with a rather simple faith) to heal her. Even after she died he prayed for a miracle. None came.
Looking back, he observed:
The interesting thing is that my disappointment produced no results beyond itself. The thing hadn’t worked, but I was used to things not working, and I thought no more about it. I think the truth is that the belief into which I had hypnotized myself was itself too irrelgious for its failure to caue any religious revolution. I had approached God, or my idea of God, without love, without awe, even without fear. He was, in my mental picture of this miracle, to appear neither as Savior or as Judge, but merely as a magician; and when He had done what was required of Him I supposed He would simply – well, go away. It never crossed my mind that the tremendous contact which I solicited should have any consequences beyond restoring the status quo. I imagine that a “faith” of this kind is often generated in children and that its disappointment is of no religious importance; just as the things believed in, if they could happen and be only as the child pictures them, would be of no religious importance either.
-C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy, p.21
This is curious. Our simple faith as children is often spoken of as far superior to our mixed and complicated faith as adults. Even Jesus told us we must become as little children. I wonder though, if the faith children have is often (no always of course) similar to what Lewis is describing here: remarkably shallow. So much so that when it is dashed against the rocks, it means little.