Shasta’s story

In thinking about a little of my story I’m planning to share with a class I’m taking I am reminded of another that I’ve resonated with.  Of all th scenes in the Chronicles of Narnia there are none that I more resonate with than in one of the last scenes in The Horse and His Boy.  I love the alagorical imagry Lewis uses.  The scene opens and you find Shasta (the main character) alone, lost, and enshouded with mist unable to see where He is or where He is going.  Shasta despairs, “Everything goes right for everyone but me…”  At this moment Shasta notices “something big” walking alongside Him.  At first frightened He hopes it’ll go away, but when the presence becomes unbearable Shasta tentatively askes, “Who’s there?”  “One who has waited long for you to speak to me.”  The large vioce replies.  The “voice” then reassures Shasta that He means Shasta no harm.  “Tell me your story.”   “What?” replies Shasta.  “You believe you are unfortuante, why?” replies the Voice.  Shasta then relates his story from his perspective, all the pain and misfortune ending with, “…and now I’m lost, alone, and hungry.”  The Voice responds. “I don’t call you unfortunate.”  “But you have to admit it was bad luck to meet so many lions.  Most people wouldn’t meet one in a lifetime, and I’ve met at least three, maybe more, and one wounded Arivis!”  “There was only one lion.” replied the Voice. “I was the lion who forced you to join with Aravis.  I was the cat that comforted you among the tombs as you slept.  It was I who gave the horses the new srength of fear that you might reach King Lune in time, and I was the lion you don’t even remember;  who pushed a boat in which you lay, an infant near death, to the shore where a fisherman sat wakeful at night to recieve you.”  “But you also wounded Arivis! Why?”  “Child I am telling you your story, not hers.  I tell no one any story but his own.”  Shasta in almost awe and fear asks, “Who are you?”  The Vioce replies in what sounds like three voices, one deep and powerful, one kind and gentle, and a whisper that seems to come from everywhere, “Myself.”    Shasta then notices that the fog was clearing and that it must have started clearing while He was talking to the Voice.  A light has been growing stronger from where the Voice has been speaking.  Turning to look, all of a sudden there stands THE LION, more beautiful and glorious than anything Shasta has ever seen. 

I find this scene so allegorical because so often this is how God has “told me my story’.  Many times I’ve had to get to a place of lonliness, despair, and lostness to begin to talk to Him.  In these times He’s always waited patiently for me to initiate the conversation. (Almost like He knew if He spoke first I wouldn’t have listned.)  As I relate “my side of the story” there’s never any condemnation for how I felt about the circumstances as I saw them.  It’s then that He begins to “tell” by His grace, like light piercing the fog, my story to me.  And you know it’s funny there has never been a sense of, “Oh ye of little faith you should have recognised Me!”  I think God more than anyone understands just how limited my perception of reality really is.  Just like an author who is willing to correct a reader who has misread His work, God reveals the key plotpoints I missed.  Only it’s more like a majician pulling aside the curtan.  What appeared to be illusion and misdirection were really direction and purpose.  And this is really the most amazing thing, that often the very things that I’ve seen as evidences of my misfortune end up being the very places where He is guiding, protecting and comforting the most.  All the while what is being revealed is His Authorship, seeing the “Completed Story” only makes Him more loving, wise, and compassionate. “I do not call you unfortunate.”

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