In Search of Narnian Lampposts
“All shall be done, but it may be harder than you think.” – CS Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
“Courage, dear heart” – CS Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of Dawn Treader
“Quiet, everyone! Shh! Silence before God. Something’s afoot in his holy house. He’s on the move! – Zechariah 2:13 MSG
In years past winter has blanketed me with dread and sorrow. After the New Year I hunker down and drudge through. I awaken from my fog mid-March, as the Earth begins to thaw & bud begins to bloom. This year has met with a definable change. Through alluring outlets God is teaching me to savor this season of quiet, rest, and renewal. There is space to let broken things heal. There is still wondrous adventure to be had against a grey back drop. There is a mingling of pain and joy that is truly bittersweet.
This morning I walked to work. The snow blanketed the Earth, clinging to trees & rooftops. A quiet hovered past the rumble of vehicles. I cut through the neighborhood marveling at the serenity & utter artistry. Soft snowflakes fell to the ground – a marvel. These are the small journeys I desire to take midwinter. I recaptured the awe of a snow day. The allure of a landscape transformed in a blanket of white.
What does real hope look like? Can we make it a tangible thing – a thing to hold fast despite circumstance?
I hold wonder of any age loose in my hand. I believe in real life magic! There is no fear to that part of me. Hope is a best friend, the one who won’t let me down. It is whimsy, light. It is serious battles won – dragons slain. It is overcoming ridiculous fear & laughing in its face until sides unstitch. There are magical ships that can sail right out of this world & into the next - silver linings, gratitude, & forbearance.
I am always searching for “Narnian” lampposts, as if they will grow up out of the ground pulling at the fabric of my logic and allow me to relish in this magic. They’re everywhere, these beacons of hope. If you have eyes to see you’ll find them in the Cracker Barrel parking lot, in Woodland Park, my sister’s front yard, even at my very own apartment complex. I’ve taken to parking under this captivating light, marveling. What is it that fascinates and captivates me so with this emblem?
There is a place deep within my heart that believes Narnia is a real place. To hear CS Lewis talk about the creation of these books is bewitching. He had the picture of Mr. Tumnus long before he even accepted Christ. Was God already working in the heart and mind of this prolific theologian? As Aslan appeared in his imagination the pieces fused, creating the mosaic – the allurement that is the Chronicles of Narnia.
My story was impacted greatly by these artful books. My first read through occurred in adulthood, transfixing this old heart. The magic and solidity of these short children’s novels spoke to my soul. I haven’t quite been able to let the feeling die. My writings often harken back to these tales to get a point across about the dynamic character of Christ.
|A truly magical night!|
In late December I had the luxury of seeing “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe” hosted at the Singletary Center. A collaboration of love and support, this charming ballet is performed completely free of charge to the public. I became Lucy as she stepped unexpectedly from the back of the wardrobe onto the snowy path of Narnia to behold the landscape and lamppost, meet Mr. Tumnus, and begin her journey of unexpected change and adventure.
This epiphany could be part of the allure. The lamppost is ripped from its foundation in our world by the White Witch, wielded as a weapon, before rooting and growing at the birthing of Narnia. This inanimate object takes on life through Aslan’s singing, a beacon between this world and Narnia. It transitions the reader to wonder.
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” – Colossians 2:7 NLT
|Homemade Turkish Delight|
I’m in search of that unexpected change that leads to a great adventure. As 2017 sat in my rearview I began to take stock. The global demographic & local politics may have been a bit dismal, but it was a good year for me. I was trying to dig my way out of an abysmal 2016, so I made lofty goals at the start which quickly derailed, as they should. Taking time to rest and renew, I allowed God to rebuild from my rubble. 2018 brought with it no agenda. There would be joy & discovery. I would lead with kindness and love well. Past this, I would let things unfold – enjoy the bend so as not to break.
Things will change. After twelve years on “blogspot” I am going to move my writings to a new forum (more information to come). I’m done shaming myself & embracing the awesome that is me. There will be risk, promise, hope & the bedrock will be Him. There is a need to step out of the paddling pool into deep waters. I’ve felt like a fake these last several years. Marking my life with the word “Christian” doesn’t mean I was living like one. My growth in what this word means has changed greatly. There is intimacy and relationship that creates a canopy around my soul.
“Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, so you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does.” – Ecclesiastes 11:5 The Message
|Lamp at Woodland Park|
There are things in this life that shouldn’t have an explanation. I don’t have to know it all. I do seek wisdom, but knowledge is relative. I want to live with expectation & believe without seeing. There will be pain, but that will be tempered with hope & grace. For 36 years I strove to get the life I want. I’m done with that line of thinking. I’m done with striving & disappointment. I’m letting go and falling into the black trusting the mystery will embrace me. There is certainty in uncertainty.
I’m seeking a life full of lampposts, those unmistakable beacons of hope. A cancer free patient bursting with joy, a snuggle with Steven or Rachael, a conversation with my sister, a hug from my Dad, an encouragement from my Mom, a friend sending an “I love you” text, a quiet snow laden path that leads to a lamppost burning bright. May I turn my face to it & share in its flame. A burning that rumbles in my bones, pulses under my skin, unable to be extinguished.
“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path.” – Psalms 119: 105