Last Christmas we gave the boys a copy of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia…with the goal of finishing the whole thing, all 7 books, by the end of 2017.
And last week…we did it!
And it was INCREDIBLE!
I’ve read some of the stories before. The boys were familiar with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. But never have we read all of them. And maybe never have I cried like I did (embarrassingly) when we reached the end.
“The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning. And as He spoke, He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
The boys and I feel a sense of accomplishment. We did something in 2017 together. It took time and dedication.
And we keep talking about how we’re not a part of our own story. We’re a part of Aslan’s story.
I agree with Joe Rigney’s words in his book Live Like a Narnian. “Reading Narnia and writing this book have only stoked my desire to raise both of my sons to be the kind of men who cheerfully embrace whatever adventures Aslan sends them.”
There is no better place for us to place our kids than in the strong hands of Aslan.
Thank you, Lewis, for this beautiful reminder.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:4)
And in case you think we’ve got it all together, here’s to falling asleep while watching TV!
These are the words I sang to her last night…
“You will be safe in His arms. You will be safe in His arms
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart
This is the promise He made, He will be with you always
When everything is falling apart, you will be safe in His arms.”
And I held her close. Reminded myself that He holds her tighter. He loves her more.
The text I had just sent my Mom finished this way…
“Tonight was the first time I’ve seen that look of hurt in her face. And the first time I’ve ever hurt like maybe my skin wasn’t white. I saw through my brown daughter’s eyes and it was painful.”
The details aren’t necessary. But for the first time in my white life something broke. I caught a glimpse from another view. And I could barely handle it.
We are so naive. And blind. And full of entitlement. And absolutely clueless to it all.
“The reason why we haven’t solved the racial divide in America after hundreds of years is because people apart from God are trying to invent unity, while people who belong to God are not living out the unity that we already possess. The result of both of these situations has been, and will continue to be, disastrous for our nation. Let alone disastrous for the witness of Christ to our nation.” (Tony Evans)
Every life is important to Him.
God, help us to love like we’ve been loved. To accept like we’ve been accepted. To sacrifice like You have sacrificed for us.
“For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” (Ephesians 2:14-16)
From our backyard playset I see our neighbor’s Christmas tree. The white lights bouncing between the blinds.
I try to find the pattern. Slow. Fast. Top. Bottom. And I push Jonathan in the swing while I watch.
This is my life. Blinking lights on a tree. Unexpected movements. Unpredictability.
Like the movement of Jonathan’s swing. Back and forth. Varying speeds. A sense of control when there really isn’t any.
And some days I want to stop. Adjust the setting. Stable. Predictable. A pattern I can tap my foot to.
But that’s not where I am. Not where God has called me. To be predictable is to not need grace. To control life on my own without needing a God that’s bigger than me.
So I push the swing. I watch the lights. And I’m thankful for chaos. Because in chaos I truly see Him. A God of order.
It’s a dance of lights. The thrill of a swing. I’m safe with Him.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)