Sunday, August 7, 2011


Lately we've been reading about lions and wardrobes and witches. It has been great. Most recently, we finished The Silver Chair. Here are some parts of the story I liked best.

Jill meets Aslan in his land, a high mountain overlooking Narnia. Aslan tasks Jill with finding the lost prince and tells her four signs she will use to accomplish the task. After giving her the signs and making her repeat them until she had them memorized he says:

"Stand still. In a moment I will blow. But first, remember, remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to your clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as your drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters." (p.560)

Taking Aslan as a figure of Jesus Christ, his words have direct meaning for us. We have distinct spiritual experiences. At those times we can see clearly and feel as though we're on mountains looking down on common life. And we may be told to do something in the future: to know the "signs" or scriptures by heart; to remind ourselves of the time we spent on the mountain. And it's true! Common life happens and the signs or scriptures seem not to fit. But they do and we should follow them.

Near the climax of Jill's and Eustace's adventure, they must decide whether or not to untie a dangerous person from the silver chair. Their reason for untying him: one of the signs Aslan gave Jill indicates that they should. Their reason for not untying him: they think he will kill them if they do.

"Do you mean you think everything will come right if we do untie him?" said Scrubb.
"I don't know about that," said Puddleglum. "You see, Aslan didn't tell Pole what would happen. He only told her what to do. That fellow will be the death of us once he's up, I shouldn't wonder. But that doesn't let us off following the sign."

That's faith! Either The Lion is right or He is wrong. If He is right, it doesn't matter what happens in the interim from following what He has commanded.