Once upon a time there was a lion named Aslan…
This week’s passage from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is found in Chapter 7, A Day With the Beavers:
“’They say Aslan is on the move – perhaps already landed.”
And now a very curious thing happened. None of the children knew who Aslan was any more than you do; but the moment the Beaver had spoken these words everyone felt quite different. Perhaps it has sometimes happened to you in a dream that someone says something which you don’t understand but in the dream it feels as if it had some enormous meaning—either a terrifying one which turns the whole dream into a nightmare or else a lovely meaning too lovely to put into words, which makes the dream so beautiful that you remember it all your life and are always wishing you could get into that dream again. It was like that now. At the name of Aslan each one of the children felt something jump in its inside. Edmund felt a sensation of mysterious horror. Peter felt suddenly brave and adventurous. Susan felt as if some delicious smell or some delightful strain of music had just floated by her. And Lucy got the feeling you have when you wake up in the morning and realize that it is the beginning of the holidays or the beginning of summer.” (pg 74)
A few weeks ago I got a call from my best friend, Beth. She had news, incredibly exciting news.
My friend Beth lives in China and for the past six years I’ve been forced to be satisfied with seeing her only once a year. But Beth had a surprise.
The organization she works for in China had selected her to travel to the United States to work with a group of American-Chinese students by attending the Festival of Faith and Writing in Grand Rapids, MI.
Grand Rapids, MI!
Instead of being half a world away, my best friend was coming to Michigan. To Grand Rapids. To a conference I was already registered to attend myself.
It felt like a dream.
The day after receiving this wonderful news I called Beth and read her this passage from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. We pinched ourselves and laughed with anticipation at the thought of seeing each other, running into each other’s arms, and holding each other so tight we would be sure to cause a scene. (And yes, this did happen.)
I’m sharing this story because it was an experience in which I got to feel, very acutely, what the children in Narnia felt upon hearing the name “Aslan” for the first time.
The sense of being in a dream.
Isn’t this the same sort of feeling you and I should have whenever we hear or see the name “Jesus.”Aren’t these the things that He, too, invokes? These things plus so much more.
Sometimes, when I read my Bible the many names that describe Jesus catch my attention and I’ll feel what the children felt in Narnia. But other times, I’m sad to admit, the name (or names) of Jesus doesn’t capture my heart the way it should. I allow it to become mundane. I forget how magnificent it is.
Sweet friends, let’s not forget.
His name is worthy of reverence.
His name breeds courage, and joy, and delight.
His goodness is like a dream…the loveliest of dreams.
His love is like Christmas morning, the first day of summer, your best friend’s embrace.
Brave Prince, lovely Princess may you wake up this day to the fairy tale found in the name of Jesus. May you be filled with a new wonder for His name. My you find it to be as pure and lovely as the sweetest of dreams…
The dreams you remember all your life…
The dreams you long to fall into.