Saturday, July 12, 2008


"But when he had said "Yes," he thought of his Mother, and he thought of the great hopes he had had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump came in his throat and tears in his eyes, and he blurted out:

"But please, please -- won't you -- can't ou give me something that will cure Mother?" Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face. What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonders of wonders) great shining tears stood in the lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared to Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.

"My son, my son," said Aslan. "I know. Grief is great. Only you and I in this land know that yet. Let us be good to one another. But I have to think of hundreds of years in the life of Narnia."

-From The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis

How our perceptions change. What once was so bright and clear becomes foggy. The monster that once plagued our closets is now our best friend. The lion that threatened to devour us in it's majestic power is now the only source of empathy we find in this lonely place.

I just finishes reading through this book (thanks Felicia) again, and I come at it with new eyes. Eyes that are less innocent than the last read through, and a heart that bares more weight than it once did. Where I was a child, I am now a boy. Where I once saw plot, I now see life. It speaks no longer to my fictional mindset, and my imagination, but directly to my life experiences. This is no longer just a story about beginnings, it's a story about me.

The questions of 'what if?' Temptations. Lust for power. The wrecklessness of hope, lashing out in it's ignorance. Very deep topics for a children's book. Yet as I reflect upon my few short years, I identify all to well with these things. 'Was it my fault? Where were You? How come it couldn't be me? Why won't you help?' I struggled, I wrestled, and I fought these questions to the bitter end. And now... as I read about the tears of the Lion, I understand.

Where I once saw God as an aloof observer, who I could bend to my will, I now I see a gentle (yet ever so powerful) ruler, who empathizes with me. In my innocense, and my ignorance, I thought that no one could understand. But who better to understand than the one who created me? Am I so selfish as to think that He has never lost anything? That He would not understand my pain? No... that would be foolish of me, for every ache that I feel in my heart, He feels tenfold. For every loss that stings humanity, a stake is drive through. In our pain, we are drawn closer to our creator, because we understand the empathy that is involved.

Some are driven further, seduced by the promises of power through anger. They seek to harness their pain to whip their souls and hearts into greater heights. But in their bloodlust, they lose something so precious that the consequences are not small. They lose empathy.

"Yes, Aslan. She wanted me to take an apple home to Mother."

"Understand, then, that it would have healed her; but not to your joy or hers. The day would have come when both you and she would have looked back and said it would have been better to die in that illness."

And Digory could say nothing, for tears choked him and he gave up all hopes of saving his Mother's life; but at the same time he knew that the Lion knew what would have happened, and that there might be things more terrible even than losing someone you love by death. But now Aslan was speaking again, almost in a whisper:

"That is what
would have happened, child, with a stolen apple. It is not what will happen now. What I give you now will bring joy."

We are not always given a choice as to our path. But in our humility, we are brought to the absolute knowledge that our path is what is best. And I am brought closer yet again.

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