Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Do You Look for Him Everywhere?

We got Prince Caspian for Christmas at our house. Some movies offer what no books can: moments of sight and sound and emotion woven together. My favorite in this movie is Peter, High King, sitting back against the table of Aslan’s sacrifice staring at a carving of Aslan’s face and realizing that in his humanness, Peter is insufficient. Peter fails. And Aslan is always faithful. Perhaps he imagines the look on Aslan’s face when Edmund returned, forgiven. Now Peter knows too. And has to go on.

At the beginning of Prince Caspian is another moment. If you’re not watching closely, you’ll miss it. For just a second the view that had been following Lucy and Susan beneath the rail-station arch pauses to focus on the lion statue beside it. The sight is full of memory, as though the roar from Narnia is trapped in that lion. For a while I ignore the scene’s progression and I think of the year between leaving the Wardrobe and now.

One of my dear friends had the opportunity to spend a semester at Oxford, England. Surrounded by faith-friends and the sites of our favorite literature, my friend whose strength is imagination was four months in legendary England. Now she is home, just in time for Christmas. She grew while she was away, I know. And maybe we all could have predicted how her return would affect her: “It’s like stepping back out of the wardrobe,” she says. I see four children tumble onto the wood floor of a clean old attic.

And I want to ask her, “Do you look for Aslan everywhere you go?” I mean, you might hear a tune and think of fauns, or see some architecture like Cair Paravel’s. A turn of phrase might bring back the voice of an old friend. Just looking at the face of one who was with you there could bring it all back. But mostly I think that those who have returned from Narnia would have learned to watch for Aslan.

Of course Aslan is only a type of the true Lion, my King forever and Redeemer coming-back. Jesus is the ever-present, always active One whom I can always seek. Do I look for Him everywhere?

It always reminds me of John, the disciple Jesus loved. After three years of a close relationship – three years walking and talking and eating, crying and laughing, with God Himself! – this man says good-bye to his Friend. Buoyed by the hope translated to the gospel he would write decades later, the hope of presence and return and friendship and comfort, he marched on through life. But I wonder if sometimes he didn’t sit in the darkness and miss his Savior with all that he was. Imagine his excitement to literally be a part of Revelation, to be in those visions, to see again One – hesitantly, as though John had pictured this moment so many times that he might only be dreaming again – like the Son of Man. Familiar face, glorified, more like the few moments on the mountain than the months in the dust. And John is back, Jesus speaking to him, comforting him, rewarding his hope. But there is more to do. John’s work on earth is not finished. He is sent back to write the last words of the hope of new testament.

Sent back. Held back. Cannot follow. Kept waiting. Watching. Can’t sleep because you’re standing on the walls, straining eyes to see. Can’t despair because the words are true, Jesus is coming back. Must follow, because readiness is imperative for the return of the Bridegroom. Readiness that glows with anticipation and faith-full faithfulness.

Do you look for Him everywhere?

To God be all glory.

1 comment:

åslaug said...

Oh this post was so inspiring =) We actually just watched Prince Caspian, so it was easy to remember what you wrote about.