Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Friday, March 25, 2011

One Long Winter

My hubby says we've still got a couple of mosquito-free weeks to enjoy. Funny how we forget the summer pests when February brings a deep freeze that drags on into March. Everywhere I turn, people are worn out, stressed out, burned out, and downright cranky--even those fortunate enough to be flaunting fresh-from-the-tropics suntans! Maybe it has something to do with returning to chilly reality and facing the credit card company.
      But we’re seeing the light at the end of the snow shovel at last. The slush on our streets and our filthy cars fill us with hope that spring can’t be too far away.
     Some of us, caught up in the pain of whatever losses the past year has brought, are stuck in perpetual winter of the soul. A few warm rays of sunshine do little to curb the cold sadness lodged deep inside. Does this describe you?
     In C. S. Lewis’ tale “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” the creatures of Narnia await the arrival of their king, the lion Aslan. They had an old rhyme that said:
Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight
At the sound of his roar, sorrows will be no more
When he bares his teeth, winter meets its death
And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.
     Nobody can appreciate that rhyme like Canadians. The hope of spring is priceless, breathing energy into our winter-weary souls and freedom into our imprisoned bodies. If Aslan were real, most of us would invite him to these parts each year before we even had the Christmas decorations put away.
     What if there were a real “Aslan?” Not of the physical world, but the spiritual one? A powerful and noble defender and friend who could bring spring to our souls and drive winter away with a gentle puff of breath? Would we invite him in? Or would we see only the fierce and frightening side of the huge lion and choose to remain in our eternal frost rather than risk his presence? In Narnia, the character Susan expresses this sentiment: “I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”
     She receives little comfort from the local expert. “That you will, dearie. If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”
     Her sister Lucy asks “Then he isn’t safe?”
     “Safe?” says the local. “Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the king.”
     We do have an “Aslan” who, although he may not be “safe,” is eternally good, perfect, loving, and merciful. And he is a gentleman who will never interfere with your life uninvited. He loves you and he longs to bring spring to your soul. You can read about him in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Find a translation you can understand, sweep the deck, dig out a lawn chair, and soak up some “Son!”

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