Because of Aslan – An Essay of Faith & Writing
“Why have your followers all drawn their swords, may I ask?” said Aslan.
“May it please Your High Majesty,” said the second Mouse, whose name was Peepiceek, “we are all waiting to cut off our own tails if our Chief must go without his. We will not bear the shame of wearing an honor which is denied to the High Mouse.”
“Ah!” roared Aslan. “You have conquered me. You have great hearts. Not for the sake of your dignity, Reepicheep, but for the love that is between you and your people, and still more for the kindness your people showed me long ago when you ate away the cords that bound me on the Stone Table (and it was then, though you have long forgotten it, that you began to be Talking Mice), you shall have your tail again.” ― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian
It happened the first time Jon took me to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe when the movie was released in 2005. Neither of us had read the books as kids on my part because I didn’t think I was interested in fantasy.
Then it happened. Aslan stepped onto the big screen, and my heart knew who he represented.
Jesus. The Lion of Judah.
The power in the pretend took me by surprise, and I felt not like one of the characters in the story but like a secret watcher. It was as if Aslan knew I was there, and he kept my presence our secret. When he left the scene, I longed for his return.
I was 48 years old.
Now I am almost 65. A couple of years ago, we decided to listen to the complete series while riding around the countryside, drinking coffee. Sometimes we stopped the audiobook to talk about the story, but mostly we let each book do the talking.
It was hard to explain how I felt about Aslan, and his relationship to Lewis’ characters, especially a noble and brave Talking Mouse named Reepicheep. A mouse I wanted to be like.
A mouse who loved Aslan and whom Aslan loved. I wanted to join him and the mice in untying the great lion from the Stone Table where evil bound him, although I would use my hands and not my mouth. I would stand beside Reepicheep, who reminds me somewhat of the Apostle Peter, although that might not have been the author’s intent. Readers often insert their ideas into the stories they read.
Please don’t misunderstand. I did not worship Aslan, but I loved how this fictional character turned my thoughts to Jesus.
True believers in Christ who write fiction pray readers will be drawn into a real (historical fiction) or make-believe world full of pretend good and evil people and get a glimpse of Jesus. To see Him lead these human hearts to the Father and win the ultimate soul victory.
Since I first heard about the Lion of Judah as a teenager, I have seen the righteous, roaring, coming King who will do all the things the Bible says He will do. Some were scary to this new believer, but I knew it was all true.
Lewis didn’t water that down. Aslan is a fierce lion king on a mission to punish and destroy evil and eternally reward good.
All those years, when thinking about Jesus’ return, in my reverent (even fervent) fear, I missed that when He comes again, everything He does will be born out of the purest love and perfect justice born of that love. I may have heard it preached, but the heavier words and the artwork of the coming Holy Lion somehow held (and still does) a place of priority in my heart.
Yet, God used a movie and then a series of audible fantasy novels to clarify both sides of the real Lion of Judah. Today I understand better because of Aslan.
Until Next Time,
P. S. I’ve heard authors called parable writers and cringed because I thought these teachings were exclusive to Jesus and the Bible. No one in my world used the word in any other context. Then, I did a little homework and discovered the definition of the word parable and its history.
Here are a couple of the links I found interesting.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
Janice Pierce says
The Narnia images have had a big impact on my faith journey as well. The fact that God is only good and He will vanquish evil helps me live through these days in America where the very foundations of our system and the things we say we hold dear are in question. In Narnia there is a kind of call to live on a higher plane and to show respect and basic manners in all we do. There is a greater cause and there are battles in which good eventually triumphs over evil. I think of the fake lion, the one wearing a lion skin over a different body,and see false and dangerous leaders trying to present themselves as Christians. I’m so grateful to C.S. Lewis and his skill and imagination to build a story world so wonderfully parallel to the reality of God’s Kingdom.
Joy Dekok says
Yes to all of this, Jan!
I absolutely love this! A powerful reminder to those of us who write! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful insight, my friend.
Joy Dekok says
Thanks for stopping by, friend! I’m glad you enjoyed it.