Friday, June 15, 2012

Images of Faith and Discipleship in C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (6)



Prince Caspian: Faith’s Vision Grows

          It is Lucy, the youngest of the four Pevensie children called into Narnia, who is Lewis’ model for faith in the first two stories of the series.  In Prince Caspian a beautiful scene makes this clear.  The children and the dwarf Trumpkin are making their way to the embattled Prince Caspian.  One morning they faced the choice of which way to go.  One way seems preferable to the other, save that Lucy catches a glimpse of Aslan, the great Lion, who takes off down the less preferable path.  He obviously intends the group to follow him.  The others, however, not having seen the Lion themselves, vote down Lucy.  She acquiesces and follows them on the seemingly more preferable path.

          This turns into a disaster.  The group is ambushed and ends up having to retrace their steps.  They end up battered, bruised, and depressed, back at the place where they had started from.  The day was wasted!

          That night Lucy drops into a deep sleep.  However, she finds herself awakened “with the feeling that the voice she liked best in the world had been calling her name.” (137)  She arises and follows the voice which keeps calling her.  The trees start to dance around her.  And then it happens.

“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 his huge black shadow underneath him.” (140-141)

Lucy runs to embrace the Lion, “lost in wonder, love and praise.” 

          “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.”

For a time she was so happy that she did not want to speak.” (141-142)

What a wonderful scene of communication, communion, and community between the two.  And Lucy discovers that her vision or grasp of the “bigness” of Aslan has grown.  As she has matured, her awareness and experience of him has enlarged as well! 

This is, to me, a gorgeous picture of what life with our Aslan, Jesus Christ, is all about.  This is what we call others to in our efforts to share Christ with them.  This kind of relationship with Jesus is the heart of the gospel call.  Not rules, nor causes, nor ideologies . . .  Only Jesus.  Only Jesus.  Only Jesus.  Only to a growing relationship with Jesus that will carry us through this life and into life everlasting

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