In case you haven’t heard, C.S. Lewis was a complete genius. If you haven’t read anything by him please go do yourself a favor and do so right now. And no, the Narnia movies do not count. He wrote many theological works, but also fantastic fiction filled with well crafted, yet subtle(mostly) spiritual messages. The most famous of his works is probably The Chronicles of Narnia. I’ve owned this set of books since my first communion but have never read all of them. Recently I decided to remedy this and retreated into the world of Aslan while on vacation(my family quickly learned to leave me alone).
I read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair and The Last Battle in quick succession and was blown away by the spiritual truths contained in each. I won’t reveal too much about the plot but I just wanted to delve into one of my favorite scenes.
In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Eustace, one of the children transported to the magical world of Narnia, is cranky, selfish and generally makes life difficult. At one point he is turned into a dragon and begins to change his ways. Once his heart is converted, he is transformed back into a boy, but the way this happens is quite interesting. He tries to remove his own skin a couple of times, like a snake, but finds that he is still a dragon. Then Aslan, who represents Jesus, says, “You will have to let me undress you.” As Aslan began tearing the skin, Eustace reports that “it hurt worse than anything I’ve ever felt.” Finally, Aslan dresses Eustace in brand new clothes.
Wow, this little passage is jam packed. We can’t ever hope to escape from sin on our own, to remove our dragon’s skin without the help of Jesus. Being stripped of our pride and selfishness usually hurts more than anything, but is worth it in the end. And like Eustace, we are made new in Christ and can be transformed by his love.
I may have posted this already, but it is completely relevant here:
This is just one of many lessons to be found within the hills of Narnia. It is amazing to see how Aslan is always guiding the characters, even when they don’t realize it. And for those you who are turned off by “children’s books” – Lewis has this to say: “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”
One last thing – if you’re reading these and are tempted to skip over The Horse and His Boy, because it’s about different characters, don’t! It turned out to be one of my favorites.
Just cause it’s hilarious: