“‘Lucy,’ came the call again, neither her father’s voice nor Peter’s. She sat up, trembling with excitement but not with fear.
A circle of grass, smooth as a lawn, met her eyes, with dark trees dancing all round it. And then – oh joy! For HE was there: the huge Lion, shining white in the moonlight, with huge black shadow underneath him.
‘Aslan, Aslan. Dear Aslan,” sobbed Lucy. ‘At last.’
The great beast rolled over on his side so that Lucy fell, half sitting and half lying between his front paws. He bent forward and just touched her nose with his tongue. His warm breath came all round her. She gazed up into the large wise face.
‘Welcome, child,’ he said.
‘Aslan,’ said Lucy, ‘you’re bigger.’
‘That is because you are older, little one,’ answered he.
‘Not because you are?’
‘I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.’
~ C.S. Lewis
I started reading the Chronicles of Narnia as a child, and I have read them every year since. Now I am watching my boys, particularly my oldest, gobble them up as Bri and I read to them each night. As I’ve gotten older and experienced life, these books have become nearer and dearer to me. What was once an exciting fantasy with a few undertones of Christ has become a series that imparts deep spiritual truths and helps me commune with my Lord.
We went to see the movie Prince Caspian this weekend, and while I am a purist and struggled through the many changes they made in dialogue and story-line, I was still able to come away from the movie moved. There were moments where I cried through scenes as the impact of the truth of the Gospel struck me. Caspian is all about faith… portraying restoration after corruption, our longing for the rightful King to be on his throne, the impact and power of spiritual warfare, and the faith to see God in the invisible. I think what struck me most was Peter’s friends in Narnia being sacrificed on the altar of his self-sufficiency. While the battle scene at Miraz’s castle is not actually part of the book, the underlying theme is. Peter is trying to be king. He is relying on himself and his past strengths, and it makes me think of the Apostle Paul who says, “When I will to do good, evil is present.”
Later in the book when Aslan asks Caspian if he is up to the task of being king and Caspian admits he doesn’t feel ready, Aslan replies, “If you had found yourself sufficient, it would have been a proof you were not.” How I love this quote! I so often look to myself to get through the day, to get through life. As I have suffered through the pain, heartache, mental and spiritual struggles of the past months, I have been so completely devoid of any of my own ability. It has been a fierce wake-up call in my heart that I need Him for every moment, every breath, every heartbeat. I am not sufficient. Only He is worthy.
I am filled with the longing that is so evident in Lewis’ writings… the longing for the buried truth of the Gospel to rise to light in our country, the longing for Satan’s power to be crushed in this world, the longing for the battle-perseverance to fight sin, the longing to see Christ whether He is visible or not, the longing to run to my Savior and bury my face in His chest just as the children bury their face in Aslan’s mane. He is delighting in me and longs to be with me. He is sufficient and He alone. He is here. He is present. He is with me.
And as I gaze at Him, He grows bigger with every heartbeat.