Tears in the Lion's eyes -
(Photos taken October 8th, 2011)
~ Excerpts from The Magician's Nephew ~
*Digory has at last reached near where Aslan is, with the Cabby and Polly following close behind*
"Digory slipped off the horse and found himself face to face with Aslan. And Aslan was bigger and more beautiful and more brightly golden and more terrible than he had thought. He dared not look into the great eyes.
"Please - Mr. Lion - Aslan - Sir," said Digory, "could you - may I - please, will you give me some magic fruit of this country to make Mother well?" He had been desperately hoping that the Lion would say "Yes"; he had been horribly afraid it might say "No." But he was taken aback when it did neither.
*Aslan tells the good Beasts that this was the Son of Adam who rang the bell, and Digory despairs that he shall never get anything for his mother now. Aslan has asked Digory to undo the wrong which he started at the ringing of the bell, and asked if Digory is ready. *
"I asked, are you ready?" said the Lion. "Yes," said Digory. He had had for a second some wild idea of saying "I'll try to help you if you'll promise to help my Mother," but he realized in time that the Lion was not at all the sort of person one could try to make bargains with. But when he had said "Yes" he thought of his Mother, and he thought of the great hopes he had had, and how they were all dying away, and a lump came in his throat and tears in his eyes, and he blurted out:
"But please, please - won't you - can't you give me something that will cure Mother?" Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great feet and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at its face.
What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life. For the tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes. They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself.
"My son, my son," said Aslan. "I know. Grief is great."
*Digory and Polly and Fledge make the journey to the Place where the Tree grows, and bring back a silver apple for Aslan, and Aslan tells Digory to throw the apple where it will grow. A little while later, it grew into a tree, with its own silver apples upon it. While at the Place, Digory had run into the Witch, and she had told him to steal an apple, but he rejected it. Aslan explained that it would not have brought healing of the good sort.*
"And Digory could say nothing, for tears choked him and he gave up all hopes of saving his Mother's life; but at the same time he knew that the Lion knew what would have happened, and that there might be things more terrible even than losing someone you love by death. But now Aslan was speaking again, almost in a whisper:
"That is what would have happened, child, with a stolen apple. It is not what will happen now. What I give you now will bring joy. It will not, in your world, give endless life, but it will heal. Go. Pluck her an apple from the Tree."
For a second Digory could hardly understand. It was as if the whole world had turned inside out and upside down. And then, like someone in a dream, he was walking across to the Tree, and the King and Queen were cheering him and all the creatures were cheering too. He plucked the apple and put it in his pocket. Then he came back to Aslan. "Please," he said, "may we go home now?" He had forgotten to say "Thank you", but he meant it, and Aslan understood.
*Digory and Polly go back to their world, and Digory rushes up to see his Mother in her room.*
"Digory took a minute to get his breath, and then went softly into his Mother's room. And there she lay, as he had seen her lie so many other times, propped up on the pillows, with a thin, pale face that would make you cry to look at it. Digory took the Apple of Life out of his pocket. The moment Digory took the Apple out of his pocket, all those things (decorations in the room) seemed to have scarcely any color at all. Every one of them, even the sunlight, looked faded and dingy. The brightness of the Apple threw strange lights on the ceiling. Nothing else was worth looking at: you couldn't look at anything else. And the smell of the Apple of Youth was as if there was a window in the room that opened on Heaven.
"Oh darling, how lovely," said Digory's Mother. "You will eat it, won't you? Please," said Digory. "I don't know what the Doctor would say," she answered. "But really - I almost feel as if I could." He peeled it and cut it up and gave it to her piece by piece. And no sooner had she finished it than she smiled and her head sank back on the pillow and she was asleep: a real, natural, gentle sleep, without any of those nasty drugs, which was, as Digory knew, the thing in the whole world that she wanted most.
And he was sure now that her face looked a little different. He bent down and kissed her very softly and stole out of the room with a beating heart; taking the core of the apple with him. For the rest of that day, whenever he looked at the things about him, and saw how ordinary and unmagical they were, he hardly dared to hope; but when he remembered the face of Aslan he did hope."
~ Excerpts taken from The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis ~
... and as you know, if you have read the story, that Digory's Mother did make a full Earthly recovery. But that was just the beginning of the story .... :)
This story from The Magician's Nephew has always made me cry. It is at the end of the book, and it always holds a bittersweetness to it. I get to the part where Digory's hopes are all dying away, and in his great despair and need, he desperately looks up at Aslan's face, and discovers it is bent down near his own. In surprise, Digory look at Aslan's face. Tears, great tears are in Aslan's eyes and he calls Digory as his own, and says "I know. Grief is great.". By then, I can barely read, because tears are always streaming down my face and clouding my gaze.
I find myself with my head hanging low and lifting it in utter despair only to find Him close and near, to comfort me as I fall into His arms. I find myself often, very often, staring at the ground and seeing my dreams and hopes die away, and in desperation, choking out a plea: "Won't You, PLEASE, could You, give some healing to make those we love well?". Begging the Healer to heal.
I know exactly how Digory felt in this part: "He had been desperately hoping that the Lion would say "Yes"; he had been horribly afraid it might say "No." But he was taken aback when it did neither." In fact, it makes me chuckle, so like that am I. :) Desperate for a Yes. Scared and terrified of a No., but completely disarrayed and confused when there is neither.
Disappointed. Confused. Weary. Hurt. Tired. Impatient.
Prayers that are answered in a "Wait. Be still and know that I am God.".
It is exhausting, and it is shattering to the will that wants healing soon. Visible and soon.
Tonight the part of this song was playing on my mind - by George Rawson:
"Until the trump of God be heard, Until the ancient graves be stirred,
And with the great commanding word, the Lord shall come!
Until He comes. Until He comes.
So strong in faith, we watch and wait, Until He comes."
and these Scriptures also fill my heart with praise to the Healer who will heal when it is His perfect and good time. In His time, will He make all things beautiful and fulfilled.
Psalm 34:15 ~ "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry."
~ Psalm 34:17 - 19 ~
"The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.
~ Psalm 36: 5-9 ~
"Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the great mountains; Your judgements are a great deep;
O Lord, You preserve man and beast. How precious is Your lovingkindness, O God!
Therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Your wings.
They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, and You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures. For with You is the fountain of life;
In Your light we see light."
~ Psalm 130: 5 - 7 ~
"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.
My soul waits for the Lord, More than those who watch for the morning -
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord;
For with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is abundant redemption."
For with Him is abundant redemption, and with Him is the fountain of Life, and in Him we SEE light.
In Him is all depth of sweetness, JOY, rest, peace while we wait. We will wait to SEE.
We will wait, through every season of the soul ... Lord, put patience in our hearts, and trust in You.
Let pervasive joy overcome us as we wait, knowing that You give us the very best.
"He (Digory) hardly dared to hope; but when he remembered the face of Aslan he did hope."
Let us remember Christ, who has conquered all, and reigns above and until He comes ...
hold onto Hope with all that is in our hearts and bodies and with all of our strength, hold onto Him.
With love to you all, thank you so much for walking this journey with me,
and for your sweet e-mails, sharing life and sorrows and yourselves too. :)
~ Jean Marie ~