Thursday, November 15, 2012
Love Me, Aslan...
I love the scene in C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where Aslan takes the prodigal Edmund aside and cancels his sinful indebtedness. When I saw the scene protrayed in the movie I had tears in my eyes. Why?
Because that's me. I am an indebted one. I have transgressed. I have gone astray. I thought, at one point in my life, I was so far gone that I might as well never entertain again the thought of coming home.
Until I was met by Forgiveness. My stains... gone. Acceptance. Into the family of God.
Here's the scene from the book:
"Edmund stood looking into the piercing eyes of the Great Lion for what might have been hours. Perhaps it had only taken minutes, or perhaps all of time, but he did not think he would ever want to leave Him. Neither of them had said anything aloud (at least, Edmund did not think they had), but Aslan could see down to the very bottom of his soul.
This had frightened Edmund at first, and then startled him, and then given him the deepest sort of peace he had ever known. He had apologized over and over in the beginning, when he had first been taken to Aslan; he had recognized Him at once (he knew not how), and had fallen at His feet and cried mercy for an hour, refusing to look up into His eyes until he felt a velvet paw atop his shoulder.
At first Edmund had shrunk down lower, fear and self-loathing making him feel unworthy to even look upon His face. But the Lion's touch had been enough to allow something besides the sorrow and guilt and pain and madness to break into Edmund's mind, and he distinctly heard his name spoken, though not in words. He looked up in shock.
He thought perhaps Aslan might kill him, and there was a terrible moment when he hoped He would; Edmund knew he deserved it. He only wanted the Lion to know how sorry he was, and to save his family, if there was yet any chance of that. But Aslan looked upon him with greater love than Edmund had known existed.
The boy trembled and cried and wailed, and he wanted very badly to run from those terrible eyes, but he was frozen in place, and he could not look away. He wished the Lion would not look at him so kindly, and he felt so wretched that he was unable to speak. It did not seem to matter.
Aslan let him clutch at his fur and bury his face in His Lion's mane until his misery was spent, and then He stood him up and led him out to the hilltop. There he searched Edmund's heart and mind and soul, and though at first He was very severe, He was never cruel or unjust. Edmund looked into His eyes the whole time this was going on, and when He was done He smiled. I forgive you, Edmund."
Take this to heart today brothers and sisters of the King. Nothing you have done or could do or have done or will do is beyond forgiveness. Accept this. Apply this now, like expensive ointment, to your soul. Live the Gospel.
Some more... Remember that scene when Eustace was a dragon and Aslan "undressed him?"
“The water was as clear as anything and I thought if I could get in there and bathe it would ease the pain in my leg. but the lion told me I must undress first. Mind you, I don’t know if he said any words out loud or not.
I was just going to say that I couldn’t undress because I hadn’t any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that’s what the lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and , instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.
But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that’s all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I’ll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this underskin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe.
Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.
Then the lion said – but I don’t know if it spoke – ‘You will have to let me undress you.’ I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know – if you’ve ever picked the scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away.
Well, he peeled the beastly stuff right off – just as I thought I’d done it myself the other three times, only they hadn’t hurt – and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly-looking than the others had been. And there was I was smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me – I didn’t like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I’d no skin on – and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious and as soon as I started swimming and splashing I found that all the pain had gone from my arm. And then I saw why. I’d turned into a boy again.”
-C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader