Wednesday, April 11, 2007

C.S. Lewis is Brilliant

hope you have a cup of tea, a kleenex, and several minutes as you visit here today. I intend to do a lot of copy work to practice my typing. Well, that 's not why. But I am going to extensively quote from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis. Now, I'm not just copying it out for the sake of a good read. No, I have something a little deeper in mind.

First, some audience participation: Call to mind that one thing (or maybe several things) that plague you. Maybe it is a besetting sin you can't break free of, or a word curse spoken over you that you have carried with you for years. Is it chronic impatience? Faithlessness? Greed? Pride? Addiction? Anger? Grudges? Self-loathing? Fear of failure? Fear of the future? Only you know what it is that keeps you up at night. I have mine in mind too. Okay? Ready? Now picture that thing like a heavy skin over you. Put yourself in the position of Eustace in the following excerpt, who had been turned into a dragon with scales and all. I'm sure like him you want to be free of your scales. I'm sure like him you've tried to shake them off in your own strength and power, with no success. I'm sure like him you want to bathe in the Living Waters. Now read these words as if they are your own "after" story:

The Lion told me I must undress.... I was just going to say that I couldn't undress because I hadn't any clothes on when I suddenly thought that dragons are snaky sort of things and snakes can cast their skins. Oh, of course, thought I, that's what the Lion means. So I started scratching myself and my scales began coming off all over the place. And then I scratched a little deeper and, instead of just scales coming off here and there, my whole skin started peeling off beautifully, like it does after an illness, or as if I was a banana. In a minute or two I just stepped out of it. I could see it lying there beside me, looking rather nasty. It was a most lovely feeling. So I started to go down into the well for my bathe.
But just as I was going to put my feet into the water I looked down and saw that they were all hard and rough and wrinkled and scaly just as they had been before. Oh, that's all right, said I, it only means I had another smaller suit on underneath the first one, and I'll have to get out of it too. So I scratched and tore again and this under skin peeled off beautifully and out I stepped and left it lying beside the other one and went down to the well for my bathe.
Well, exactly the same thing happened again. And I thought to myself, oh dear, how ever many skins have I got to take off? For I was longing to bathe my leg. So I scratched away for the third time and got off a third skin, just like the two others, and stepped out of it. But as soon as I looked at myself in the water I knew it had been no good.

Are you still with me? Is this sounding familiar? How many times Lord have I tried to stop my sin, tried to change my attitude, but to no avail?

Then the Lion said..."you will have to let me undress you." I was afraid of his claws, I can tell you, but I was pretty nearly desperate now. So I just lay flat down on my back to let him do it.
The very first tear he made was so deep that I thought it had gone right into my heart. And when he began pulling the skin off, it hurt worse than anything I've ever felt. The only thing that made me able to bear it was just the pleasure of feeling the stuff peel off. You know - if you've ever picked a scab of a sore place. It hurts like billy-oh but it is such fun to see it coming away....
Well, he peeled the beastly sfuff right off - just as I thought I'd done it myself the other three times, only they hadn't hurt - and there it was lying on the grass: only ever so much thicker, and darker, and more knobbly looking than the others had been. And there was I as smooth and soft as a peeled switch and smaller than I had been. Then he caught hold of me - I didn't like that much for I was very tender underneath now that I'd no skin on - and threw me into the water. It smarted like anything, but only for a moment. After that it became perfectly delicious.... After a bit the lion took me out and dressed me - .... in new clothes - the same I've got on now, as a matter of fact..... and [I've] been - well, un-dragoned.
2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come"
Hebrews 12:11 "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."
Isaiah 1:18 "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool."
Lord, thank You for being ruthless in Your cleansing of my heart. More and deeper Lord, I pray. My sin is ever before me and only You can put it far from me. You have not dealt with me according to my sins, nor rewarded me according to my iniquities. Rather, as far as the east is from the west so far have You removed my transgressions from me (Psalm 103:10-12). Change me through and through. And let me never be the same again.

No comments: