Today Was A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there were kings and queens of Narnia…

For the last four weeks we’ve been taking a journey into the land of Narnia. If you missed parts 1-3 you can read them here, here, and here.

Today’s entry is from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Chapter 17, The Hunting of the White Stag:

“But the next day was more solemn. For then, in the Great Hall of Cair Paravel…in the presence of all their friends and to the sound of trumpets, Aslan solemnly crowned them and led them to the four thrones amid deafening shouts of, “Long Live King Peter! Long Live Queen Susan! Long Live King Edmund! Long Live Queen Lucy!”

“Once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen. Bear it well, Sons of Adam! Bear it well, Daughters of Eve!” said Aslan.

So the children sat on their thrones and scepters were put into their hands and they gave rewards and honors to all their friends…And that night there was a great feast in Cair Paravel, and revelry and dancing, and gold flashed and wine flowed, and answering to the music inside, but stranger, sweeter, and more piercing, came the music of the sea people.

These two Kings and two Queens governed Narnia well, and long and happy was their reign.

…And they themselves grew and changed as the years passed over them. And Peter became a tall and deep-chested man and a great warrior, and he was called King Peter the Magnificent. And Susan grew into a tall and gracious woman with black hair that fell almost to her feet and the kings of the countries beyond the sea began to send ambassadors asking for her hand in marriage. And she was called Susan the Gentle. Edmund was a graver and quieter man than Peter, and great in council and judgment. He was called King Edmund the Just. But as for Lucy, she was always gay and golden-haired, and all princes in those parts desired her to be their Queen, and her own people called her Queen Lucy the Valiant.

So they lived in great joy and if ever they remembered their life in this world it was only as one remembers a dream.” (From the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, pg 199-201)

Once a king or queen in Narnia, always a king or queen. I love this line. Every time I read it, it reminds me that I, too, am a queen (or princess) because I am a chosen daughter of the King.

And this is truth for all of us. As sons and daughters of the King of Kings we have been given an inheritance. We’ve been given a mission, a purpose, a domain. We’ve been given the task of ruling over His kingdom…not just someday, in heaven, but here on this earth.

Just as Aslan crowned Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy the King has crowned us and trusted us to love and serve His people, His church. He’s charged us to bear His image. He’s given us passions and talents, beauty and courage set deep within our hearts so we may rule our domains (think jobs, homes, callings) with honor, and grace, and glory.

It is the stuff of fairy tales. And it is real. It is true. We are the beloved children of God. Heirs along with Jesus.

Think about it. Let it sink in. Are you living in this truth? Is this your identity?

Who are you? What is your royal name? King ____ the ____? Queen ____the ____? If you don’t know, ask! Let God show you how He sees you. Let Him show you who you are.

A friend recently gave my daughters the most amazing gift: a beautiful wind chime to hang in their rooms. With it came a story of how they are both princesses.

Whenever you hear the wind chime, my friend wrote, remember that you’re a princess.

I can’t imagine a more lovely thought.

I hung the chimes in the center of their rooms. Inevitably, I am constantly walking into them or hitting them with my head. But as I hear the chimes, I remember, and I say it out loud to my daughters, and to myself, “You’re a princess! You’re a princess!”

Brave Prince, Lovely Princess may you wake up this day to the fairy tale found in the truth of your identity…your identity in Christ. May you know down deep that you are royalty, a child of the King.

Once a king or queen of the King of Kings, always a king or queen.

May you bear it well Sons of Adam, Daughters of Eve. May your reign be long and happy.

Today Was a Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was a warm set of sheets fresh from the dryer…

A few days ago I opened my dryer and pulled out a wad of clean, dry sheets. Still hot from the dryer’s warmth the sheets felt amazing all crumpled in my arms.

“Come here, Aletheia,” I said to my daughter who was standing close by. For a moment we paused. There in the hallway we huddled together over warm sheets. We nestled our faces, breathed in deep, and smiled as we released a satisfied, “Ahhhh!” from the depths of our souls.

As we soaked in the heat of those sheets I couldn’t help but think this must be what it feels like to snuggle up to Jesus. The warmth. The comfort. The invitation to stop and linger. The deep satisfaction of being with Him.

Pause for a moment and imagine it. The way it must feel to sit with Jesus. To crawl into His lap, to be held in His arms.

Maybe the cold Michigan winter has left me desperate for anything warm. Maybe sheets from the dryer aren’t anything special. Maybe I’m just being fanciful.

Moments like this are small, mundane, and ordinary. But why take them for granted? Why not be like the children who longed to come to Him?

“But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” Matthew 19:14 (NLT)

God loves to reveal Himself to us in all things, and whether it’s through the warmth of sheets from the dryer or anything that transports us into the presence of Christ, God loves for us to come to him with the posture of a child.

Fellow Princes and Princesses, may you wake up this day the fairy tale found in straight from the dryer warmth. May you find the love, the presence, the touch of Christ in all things fresh and comforting.

Today Was A Fairy Tale

100_2033Once upon a patch of light…and a rat named Roscuro…

A few days ago, as I was cleaning my kitchen, I marveled at how a patch of light shone through the window and across the floor. Hitting the window, the table, and the floor at just the right angle, this stream of light illuminated all the dirty spots I managed to miss.

I grinned ruefully to myself. Just when I thought my work was done, it became evident that I still had some scrubbing, sweeping and dusting to do.

As I continued to work, I considered the ways God shines His light into my life, into my heart. Just like the light in my kitchen, God has a way of exposing the spots in my life that need attention. The lie I told my best friend, my reluctance to make prayer a priority, my anger that flares in a hot minute and lambasts the people I love.

I stared at the dirt and dust in my kitchen and realized I had a choice to make. I could get to work and clean the spots or I could pull the curtains and leave the spots in darkness.

When it comes to our hearts, and God’s light in our lives, it’s tempting to draw the curtains of pride and excuses and leave our ‘dirty’ spots in the dark. It’s tempting to cover them; pretend we don’t see them, convince ourselves they’ll go away.

The work of cleaning the spots in our lives is hard and painful. It isn’t convenient, comfortable or fun. But when we let God shine His light, when we live in the light and let Him do His refining work, our lives become luminous. Luminous with His love, with His grace, with His goodness.

DespereauxIn The Tale of Despereaux, Kate DiCamillo, paints an exquisite picture of the choice between light and darkness:

“As he [Roscuro] stared up at the man, the door to the dungeon was suddenly flung open and a thick and brilliant shaft of afternoon light cut into the dark of the dungeon.

“Ugh,” said Botticelli. He covered his eyes with one paw.

Roscurro, however, stared directly into the light.

Reader, this is important: The rat called Chiaroscuro did not look away. He let the light from the upstairs world enter him and fill him. He gasped aloud with the wonder of it.

“Give him his small comforts,” shouted a voice at the top of the stairs, and a red cloth was thrown into the light. The cloth hung suspended for a moment, bright red and glowing, and then the door was slammed shut again and the light disappeared and the cloth fell to the floor. It was Gregory the jailer who bent to pick it up.

“Go on,” said the old man as he held out the cloth to the prisoner, “take it. You‘ll need every last bit of warmth down here.”

And so the prisoner took the cloth and draped it around his shoulders as if it were a cloak, and the soldier of the king said, “Right then, Gregory, he’s all yours.” And the soldier turned and went back up the steps and opened the door to the outside world and some small light leaked in before he closed the door behind him.

“Did you see that?” Roscuro said to Botticelli.

“Hideously ugly,” said Botticelli. “Ridiculous. What can they possibly mean by letting all that light in at once. Don’t they know that this is a dungeon?”

“It was beautiful,” said Roscuro.

“No,” said Botticelli. “No.” He looked at Roscuro intently. “Not beautiful. No.”

“I must see more light. I must see all of it,” said Roscuro. “I must go upstairs.”

Botticelli sighed. “Who cares about the light? You obsession with it is tiresome. Listen. We are rats. Rats. We do not like light. We are about darkness. We are about suffering.”

“But,” said Roscuro, “upstairs.”

“No ‘buts,’” said Botticelli. “No ‘buts.’ None. Rats do not go upstairs. Upstairs is the domain of mice.” He took the locket from around his neck.

“What,” he said, swinging it back and forth, “is this rope made of?”

“Whiskers.”

“The wiskers of whom?”

“Mice.”

“Exactly. And who lives  upstairs?”

“Mice.”

“Exactly. Mice.” Botticelli turned his head and spat on the floor. “Mice are nothing but little packages of blood and bones, afraid of everything. They are despicable, laughable, the opposite of everything we strive to be. Do you want to live in their world?”

Roscuro looked up, past Botticelli to the delicious sliver of light that shone out from underneath the door. He said nothing.

“Listen,” said Botticelli, “this is what you should do: Go and torture the prisoner. Go and take the red cloth from him. The cloth will satisfy your cravings for something from that world. But do not go up into the light. You will regret it.” As he spoke, the locket swung back and forth, back and forth. “You do not belong in that world. You are a rat. A rat. Say it with me.”

“A rat,” said Roscuro.

“Ah, but you are cheating. You must say, ‘I am a rat,’” said Botticelli, smiling his slow smile Roscuro.

“I am a rat,” said Roscuro.

“Again,” said Botticelli, swinging his locket.

“I am a rat.”

“Exactly,” said Botticelli, “A rat is a rat is a rat. End of story. World without end. Amen.”

“Yes,” said Roscuro. “Amen, I am a rat.” He closed his eyes. He saw, again, the red cloth spinning against the backdrop of gold.

And he told himself, reader, that it was the cloth that he desired and not the light.”

(From The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo. Pgs: 92-97.)

Sweet friends, may you wake up this day to the fairy tale found in a patch of light and a rat named Roscuro. When God shines His light into your life, into your heart, exposing the places you’re tempted to hide, don’t settle for darkness. Don’t settle for anything less than the life He offers. Let the light of the King enter your world and fill you. Soak it up, gasp aloud at the wonder of it. His light is beautiful. His light is where you belong.

Live in the light.