Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Roar Behind

It's no secret I quite enjoy the writing of CS Lewis. I enjoy their rhythm, I'm awed by their depth, and I'm intrigued by their implications. As I reread through the Narnia series I am continually in a state of admiration for how he takes some very complex theological ideas and distills them into finger-food anyone can comprehend.

I often laugh with my friends about how I pray for things and I'm begrudged when God happily answers my cry. Usually this is because I foolishly, but not really at all, ask Him to tear me apart and rebuild me in His image. To strip me of my pride, to teach me a lesson I know I need to learn, or to put me over the coals and hammer me into a tempered sword for His use. Foolish prayers, because I know that without a doubt these are prayers that will be answered.

Deep down they truly reflect my hearts wish. I want to be useful, I want to be pure; I only struggle with the process from which he culls those impurities. They are hard, they hurt, and they leave scars marring every inch of my body, mind and soul. In hindsight, however, I can't think of a single one that I would trade in, because each of them have been entirely worth it.

Shasta, Bree, Hwin and Aravis are moving through the desert North towards Archenland and eventually Narnia. They have been travelling for days, and are hot, tired, and thirsty. But they know they have to press on nonetheless, in order to beat out an attacking group and warn the Archenlanders. And in that final stretch, when the danger is most immanent, a lion chases them down.

I'm sure you can imagine what comes next. More importantly, I be you can empathize with that feeling, I know I can. You are tired ans sore from the journey. You feel as though you have nothing left inside, and God asks you for just a little more. In this case, it's the threat of danger and death that is used as a motivation. But the Jesus we have constructed in our heads holds children, hugs lambs and always smiles. Imagine the fear it would inspire in you if he growled at you and threatened your life.

God is not tame. He doesn't fit nicely into our pretty boxes, our leather Bibles, or our consecrated churches. He is not a tame line. His leaping for Aravis at ripping her back open, drawing blood is entirely in His character. But His intention is never to kill, merely to inspire and teach. Had He wanted to kill, the mere thought of it would turn it into reality.

I have claw marks. They sting from time to time, but I have learned to welcome them as a comforting reminder that the Lion watches over me, and deems my journey important enough to spur me forward in the times of my greatest danger. I'm fearful to think what would have been had I not received that nudge.

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