The Lion of Judah has always been one of my favorite names of Jesus. It denotes strength and honor and power and majesty. I have long had a tender spot in my heart for Aslan from The Chronicles of Narnia. Lewis’ contemporary and friend, J.R.R. Tolkien, chided Lewis that his stories were too blatantly allegorical, and Lewis in turn chided that Tolkien’s were not. The character of Aslan is not one of Lewis’ creating though. He is THE Lion and there is no mistaking that. Lewis did not want there to be any mistake though. I am paraphrasing a story that Douglas Gresham, Lewis’ stepson, told:
A little boy who was reading The Chronicles of Narnia was crying one night in his room. His mother came and asked what was wrong and he told her sorrowfully that he loved Aslan more than he loved Jesus. Either the mother or the child wrote this in a letter to Lewis, who responded by saying to love Aslan is to love Jesus.
Aslan himself tells the Pevensie children on their last trips to Narnia, that it is their time to get to know him in their own world. Sometimes I feel like I seek Christ in this lion form. I watched and wept jealously as Lucy sought Aslan and found him in Prince Caspian on Friday. She was faithful, she was sure He would be there for her and yet when He came roaring in, you saw the fear that it might not be him. Yet, even though she feared that, she went to Him anyway and was rewarded for her faith by getting to throw herself into Him and be held by her Lion.
It felt a little silly, but I cannot help but long for my chance to fall into my Lion’s arms and tell him how much I love Him. I want Him to come save the day, but like He told Lucy, “Things never happen the same way twice, dear one.” The way my Lion rescued me, when He brought me out of darkness and made me His own, is not the way He will “rescue” me from life’s troubles. In a sermon I heard Andy Stanley preach about what God does promise us, he said that God does not promise that we will rich or safe or successful. In fact, He assures us that “we will have troubles in this world” but that He has overcome them. What He Has promised us is grace and mercy when we approach His throne, approach Him. I saw a not-so-subtle vision of that when the Lion rolled around and cuddled a little girl who had been seeking Him desperately. I desperately needed to see that.
More about Aslan later, right now my gifts are:
~grace and mercy
~ my sweet, sleeping husband who loves me so well
~my beautiful son doing flips in my tummy
~a beautiful day, doing nothing with dear, dear friends