Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why the miracles we ask for, the miracles we expect, may not come through.

My friend The Practicing Catholic has been suffering since her father died. I have missed her, both in person and online. I know she is struggling and I also know that there is not much I can do about it other than to pray for her.

So you might understand why I was thrilled to see a new post from her. Little did I suspect that in talking about her own trials, she would cement my recent decision to give The Chronicles of Narnia one more try. Go read it all ... but here is the bit that struck me personally.
I recently recalled a passage in C.S. Lewis’ The Magician’s Nephew. Lewis possessed a wonderful understanding of pain and grief and persevering in faith. He wrote many great things on these subjects, but none of them have resounded with me quite so much as this passage from one of his books for children.

In this scene, the Lion Aslan, confronts the boy Digory, who has awakened the evil Witch/Queen in Aslan’s newly created land of Narnia:

“Son of Adam,” said Aslan. “Are you ready to undo the wrong that you have done to my sweet country of Narnia on the very day of its birth?”

“Well, I don’t see what I can do,” said Digory. “You see, the Queen ran away and–”

“I asked, are you ready?” said the Lion.

“Yes,” said Digory. He had had for a second some wild idea of saying “I’ll try to help you if you’ll promise to help my Mother,” but he realized in time that the Lion was not at all the sort of person one could try to make bargains with. 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 you 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 (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion’s eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with 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.”

1 comment:

  1. I'd forgotten this passage. I think I need to go back and re-read Magician's Nephew.

    I do hope you give Narnia another chance. And then blog about it.