Thursday, July 14, 2011

Further Up and Further In!

"Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight,
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more,
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death,
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again."

We travel into Narnia, with eyes wide and hearts open, where we find talking trees, heroic mice, and deep magic. We are introduced to characters that seem to be mirror images of ourselves, often the worst parts of ourselves. Peter’s reluctance to show bravery until the situation is dire, Susan’s practicality that often overpowers her faith, Edmund’s self-indulgence and constant seeking of something other than what is best, Lucy’s often-naive innocence, Mr. Tumnus’s need to please, and Eustace Clarence Scrubb’s (yes, he really did deserve that name) need for Aslan’s painful removal of his dragon skin. We journey with them and we feel their joy and pain.

It’s a world so different from our own, yet it’s very much the same. There are battles and quests, adventures and dangers. Yet, to our delight, there is Aslan, saying softly, “Come, live with me and you’ll know me.” He is there when things seem hopeless, saving us from wolves, winning the battles, and giving his life to ransom another. He is with us when we sail to the end of the World with Reepicheep and when the Ape tries to deceive us. He is with us when he sings out his beautiful creation song, and he is there when the Witch lures us to her castle with sweet indulgences.

Yes, Aslan, the great King, has been there all the time, and he calls us to enter His country, our real home. It’s more than we could have imagined, and we know that this is where we’ve belonged all along! Despite the times we haven’t been able to see him because our faith was too small, he still welcomes us with open arms into the real Narnia. From a place where it’s always winter and never Christmas to a place where spring never seems to end, we’re finally home. And we find ourselves rejoicing with the Unicorn when he says, "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Come further up, come further in!"

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