Sunday, September 14, 2008

The God Who Devours

One of my favorite passages in the Narnia book The Silver Chair involves a conversation between Jill and Aslan near a stream. Aside from the suggestive imagery reminiscent of the talk between Jesus and the woman at the well found in John 4, there are other themes of interest.

Jill is thirsty, but fears approaching the stream where Aslan the lion is present. It is the only stream around. "There is no other stream," says Aslan, who can no doubt give her "living water."

Afraid of approaching the stream, Jill asks Aslan if he will give her some assurance that he will not "do anything" to her as she takes a drink. He gives her no assurance. She then asks if he eats girls. "I have swallowed up boys and girls," says Aslan, "women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms."

In this passage, C.S. Lewis may be underscoring the significance and all-encompassing experience of Christ in the life of a believer. Christ wants to saturate our lives, not just particular areas of our choosing. We must humbly give all of ourselves to him.

Just as Aslan tells Jill that he has devoured individuals as well as whole kingdoms, so too Christ wants to devour our lives, but for our own good.

It is a frightening and sobering thought for fallen human beings to comprehend, reminiscent of a passage often quoted by Lewis: "Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my [Christ's] sake will find it" (Matt. 10:39).

1 comment:

Karla said...

I have always loved that passage of The Silver Chair.