Monday, April 28, 2008

Beginning a Journey

To inaugurate the beginning of this blog, I made time to read the Chronicles of Narnia. This was the first time I have read the books, and I hope to read the whole series this week. This blog, then, will consider an image within The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, namely the statued lion that was given a penciled mustache by Edmund in the Witch's castle and was revived by the breath of Aslan.

Lewis writes of the restored lion,
"The most pleased of the lot was the other lion who kept running about everywhere pretending to be very busy but really in order to say to everyone he met, "Did you hear what he said? Us Lions. That means him and me. Us Lions. That's what I like about Aslan. No side, no stand-off-ishness. Us Lions. That meant him and me."
This image sets a few things quite straight: our restoration comes from without us, not within. Whether we are statues or just on the wrong side of the battle, we would never be able to "fix" our situation without a deal of outside help. Secondly, the restoring breath neither comes from some distant reality with which we cannot relate nor comes from a normal lion like ourselves. Rather the breath comes from an empathetic friend whose power reaches far beyond ours. Finally, once we are restored his action is not finished. The lion was called by Aslan to carry "three dwarfs, one dryan, two rabbits and a hedgehog" to the battle.

The wonder of being part of an Us, which totally renovates, restores and finally elevates us to something beyond our own imaginations is the beginnings of a participatory understanding of Christianity. It is this participation that is the basis for a theology and spirituality which asks us to change the world and be changed in the process