Tuesday, May 20, 2008

He's not a tame Lion...

I recently saw the new Chronicles of Narnia movie "Prince Caspian" (on opening day to be exact!). And it has sparked anew my love of the Chronicles and the symbolism it holds.
I've loved The Chronicles ever since I read them as a 9 or 10 year old girl. My great aunt ( a wonderful Christian woman) had given me a boxed set of the books when I'd been much younger. They sat on my bookshelf in pristine, untouched condition until I "discovered" them in 4th or 5th grade. Now, as a 25 year old married woman, that same set is on my bookshelf in a dogeared, well worn, well read, well loved condition.

I can't remember when I understood the idea that Aslan was a Christ-figure and that the part where Aslan is killed in Edmund's stead in "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" is an allegory of Christ's death and resurrection. I know I didn't get it when I first read the books, but I do know that I understood it eventually and that it fascinated me.
After finding out that there was "hidden" meaning in the story, I was hungry to know what other allegories and symbolism were in the rest of the Chronicles. I spent a lot of time when I was 12 reading a book called "The Companion To Narnia" to try and dig out those concepts. I have grown a lot in the Lord since then, and am itching now to re-read the Chronicles and dig out even more.
Illustrations speak to me. I am all about symbolism and illustrations. It isn't unlike the way Jesus used parables in the Bible. Just watching this most recent movie spoke to me about things I have been going through in my own life...one big one being faith.
Aslan is not (physically) present in much of the story of "Prince Caspian". And a big thing for the Pevensies and the Narnians is to have faith in him and not to take matters into their own hands.

Before the last Narnia movie came out, I bought a book back called "Not a Tame Lion", a book that unpacks some of the spiritual concepts within the Chronicles. This is a quote speaking about a passage in "The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe"

"Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy
"Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about being safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he's good. He's the King I tell you."

"How is goodness a counterpoise to not being safe? Isn't goodness a synonym for safety?......Not safe but good? Reverse it, and you get the effect: Good but not safe. Goodness can't be trusted to leave us alone, untouched and unmoved. Goodness makes demands, putting something or someone at risk. Goodness has a very personal price tag."

Following God, in reality, isn't safe. It costs us a lot. But it's good.

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