aslan

Tom (my husband) and I sat down on New Year’s Eve for a wild bash of insane revelry some hot chocolate, popcorn, and reflection. We talked about the year and pondered questions. One was about what your favorite book of the year. Without hesitation I answered _The Chronicles of Narnia_. (Ok, ok, it’s not one book, and if I had to choose one I’d struggle, but the series itself is incredible.) If you’ve already read them then you know how compelling they can be. How did I not inhale them as a child? To be fair, I did read and enjoy _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_ but then remember picking up _The Voyage of the Dawn Treader_ and…getting stuck. I’m not sure why, as I loved it this go around. But I was deterred and I never went back to them.

Most compelling in all of them is Aslan, the lion. Or should I saw the Lion. I was continually drawn back to the portrait painted of this strong, compassionate lion who does not dismiss wrongdoing but who overflows with mercy in the midst of it. It was this combination of strength and softness–the children who encounter him are both frightened of him and irresistably drawn to him, who cower at his growl but also play in his fur, who, once they know him, never want to leave him–that I found compelling. Heck, I wanted to enter Narnia and spend time with him.

While these books can be read on a superficial level and enjoyed for their pure fantasy, it’s not a stretch to see that Aslan represents a Christ-figure. And I’m embarrassed to say that I’m not always as eager to spend time with God as I was with this portrait of him. What is it that doesn’t feel the same? Do I have some anemic view of who God is? Do I not believe the traits I claim for him? I wonder if my memory too easily forgets, even when surrounded by His world and people He loves so dearly.

I don’t generally “do” New Year’s resolutions, per se. I did write down a few goals for the year, but that happened before 12/31 and I didn’t associate them with the new calendar. But if I did, I would want to view Jesus as he is, and to know and love him as the kids did Aslan.

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