October 25, 2008

no second causes

i dont know what happened...maybe some one has been praying for me...but the cloud over my head is gently, slowly lifting.

its more than one thing that has positively altered my perspective on being here, but the climax realization came quietly from the pages of "The Horse and His Boy."

there's a part where the "Boy" of the title, Shasta, is walking along on a trail alone because he couldnt make his non-talking horse do what he wanted (he wasnt used to the whole "reigns" business because talking horses from narnia naturally dont need brute force).  he is separated in the thick fog from the group he is riding with and starts to think about the misfortunes and misplacements of his life...

"i do think," said Shasta, "that i must be the most unfortunate boy that ever lived in the whole world.  everything goes right for everyone except me."  ...and being very tired and having nothing inside him, he felt so sorry for himself that the tears rolled down his cheeks.

then Aslan appears in the mist and starts walking next to him and talking to him, but shasta only knows him as a Voice at first-

"I do not call you unfortunate," said the Large Voice.
"Don't you think it was bad luck to meet so many lions?" said shasta
"there was only one lion," said the Voice..."I was the lion."
"I was the lion who forced you to join with aravis.  I was the cat who comforted you among the houses of the dead.  i was the lion who drove the jackals from you while you slept..."

and he goes on.  
aslan's point was that all the instances that seemed like bad luck or misplacement or survival were just Him.  there is a point in the story when aslan (though shasta didnt know it was aslan) attacks his friend aravis but doesnt harm her too badly, only scratches up her back.  he brings this up to aslan and says,

"then it was you who wounded aravis"
"it was i."
"but what for?"
"child," said the Voice, "i am telling you your story, not hers.  i tell no one any story but his own."

i know all of this seems choppy, but you cant imagine how perfect it was for me to read that when i did.

because i WANT to believe that EVERYTHING that has and will happen to me is His doing, whether it feels good or not (and intellectually i ascribe to that) ...but sometimes its so hard to see things like that, especially when they sting the most.  
especially when they cost the most.  
especially when all around you is fog and you're separated from the group.
especially when the only pattern in your life that you can see is the one that feeds that displaced sense you get when you look around you.

i love that the lion gives shasta no sympathy: only truth.
and the truth is he's not so bad off as he thinks, and that he's not as alone as he thinks...in fact, its the times when he was most afraid that the lion himself was the one working and pushing him to where he needed to be.

may the Lord give us vagabonds mercy for our oft poor perspective.


chassafrass said...

i'm so stoked cas! smiles all around!!!!! :D

John & Janelle said...

I'm glad you're reading the Narnia books. :)